In a discreet judgment, the Court of First Instance has found the Commission liable in damages for egregious breaches of the Regulation 45/2001 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data. In its judgment in Case T-259/03 Kalliopi Nikolaou v. Commission, the Court of First Instance ordered the Commission to pay €3 000 (US$4,165.65) in compensation because OLAF leaked information about its investigation and published derogatory statements about Ms. Nikolaou which, although they did not name her expressly, were such that she could be identified personally.
Ms. Nikolaou had originally claimed €900 000 (US$ 1,249,559) in damages. The Court of First Instance finally awarded a very low amount because it found that the other instances of illegal conduct by OLAF had not actually caused the loss and damage claimed.
This is the first judgment awarding damages for a breach of Regulation 45/2001. It is a shame that it is only available in Greek and French in summary form. The Court published a press release in French which gives much more information than the judgment.