European Commission whistleblower Paul Van Buitenen has hit back at critics after being officially reprimanded for leaking information to MEPs against the instructions of his superiors, writes Ben Griffiths. He said the move did not represent an 'honest and fair decision' as it portrayed him as a criminal in Commission service. Van Buitenen is angry about this week's ruling and has criticised Neil Kinnock, the commissioner charged with cleaning up the EC. 'It is a major disadvantage that an old commissioner from the old commission should take on this task because he underestimates the situation,' he told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme. 'Even if Mr Kinnock is not of bad will, he should change his policy very quickly and go towards real changes and not window dressing.' Van Buitenen, then an internal auditor at the Commission, was suspended and risked losing his job last December after leaking information to the European Parliament on alleged fraud and mismanagement in the Brussels-based executive. Following nine months of disciplinary proceedings, an internal review panel ruled that Van Buitenen had broken Commission rules. The panel took a serious view of the fact his disclosures had compromised investigations in progress. But Kinnock argued the reprimand was 'reasonable and right'. 'I can understand Van Buitenen's soreness,' he said on Today. 'Anybody who has been reprimanded would feel sore. But I think on reflection he will recognise this was a fair outcome because by his own frequent admission he did seriously and knowingly breach the rules in existence.'
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