QUATRARO SUICIDE: WAS HE ABOUT TO NAME HIS SUPERIORS?
December 2, 2002
The events leading up to Quatraro's leap to his death in 1993 raise a number of questions, if Watt's detailed allegations of a Masonic dimension are to be believed. Clearly Quatraro's protection was not inexhaustible, but at which point did he realise that it was to be removed? And was his suicide as a result of being abandoned by corrupt senior officials - or because he soon realised that OLAF was not going to cut a deal with him?
Yet, at the time and indeed almost ten years later, when Watt himself raised many difficult questions within the EU Court of Auditors, still Walter Hubl and David Ramsay have both chosen not to investigate Guy Legras. Watt argues that this is because they are both "well-known" Masons with the Luxembourg-based Court. Because of the oath taken by the secret group to protect fellow members, they cannot investigate Legras - also, he claims, a Freemason. The Commission's refusal to pursue an investigation after the death of Quatraro is certainly based on the lack of information provided by the EU Court (Ramsay and Hubl) and no further initiative from OLAF (which Watt claims has individuals within its ranks that have close links with the same Court of Auditors' officials).
Certainly, back in 1993, any spotlight thrown on Legras would have raised the likelihood of calls from MEPs for a further in-depth enquiry. Watt claims this would have exposed a Masonic network within the EU institutions and so could not be risked. This goes a long way towards explaining Ramsay and Hubl's repeated reluctance much later to follow such a path. It would have also placed the European Commission perilously close to being compromised, both by the tobacco giants on one side, and baying MEPs on the other who might have discovered the purpose of the wide-scale fraud. Watt's conclusions all lead to the obvious - that the tobacco fraud was a lucrative project set up to fund the Masons and their activities. He also concludes that Quatraro was almost certainly not a Mason, although definitely had links with organised crime in Italy. He suggests that the attempted cover-up in 1993 failed and events surpassed those responsible for the cigarette scam so quickly that, in a very short space of time, too many non-Masons in the EU Court and in OLAF knew of it - and hence something radical had to be done to stem the flow of any further media attention or deeper investigation. Perhaps in those last few weeks leading up to Quatraro's suicide, he himself felt that he was to be betrayed by his protectors and began to talk to reluctant OLAF 'investigators' - believing them to be non-Masons; or alternatively, that Quatraro was indeed a Mason who by 'opening up' to OLAF broke the oath of Masons and subsequently paid the price. Either hypothesis corresponds with what EU sources have revealed to The Sprout. "Quatraro did mention that there were 'others' involved”¦we had the impression too", confided one EU official close to the case, who naturally wishes to remain anonymous. If Legras was indeed a Mason, he needed to act very quickly to halt any attention being directed towards him.
He succeeded at first in 1993, if Watt is to be believed, to deter OLAF, the Court of Auditors and certainly the press from questioning him personally; but much later in 2001, when he was in charge of the tobacco audit, the Scottish auditor was still mystified by the reluctance of his superiors to investigate the Frenchman, who had since been moved to the External Relations DG. The reluctance of Ramsay - since promoted to Head of Division - baffled him to such an extent, that it led Watt to conclude that there had to be a Masonic dimension to the Quatraro affair.
"The lack of follow-up must be attributed to design (i.e. a deliberate decision not to investigate). Given the high reputation of both Mr Hubl and Mr Ramsay in the Court of Auditors and the fact that the EU's anti-fraud unit has had ten years to investigate the most important case in its history, it must be concluded that Hubl, Ramsay and OLAF have taken conscious decisions not to investigate the role of Mr Legras. With regard to Hubl and Ramsay, the only fact external to the "Quatraro Case" which could theoretically be sufficiently important to cause such a non-investigation, is their Freemasonry”¦the motive underlying the failure of the Court's auditors to investigate Mr Legras, was Masonic; i.e. Mr Legras was a brother Freemason". - Watt's letter to Herve April 22 2002The Sprout is published by SPROUT MEDIA LIMITED. Copyright 2002. All rights reserved
Dougal Watt concludes that Quatraro simply could not have acted out the role that he played with the most "notorious criminal organisation" in Europe, without protection. Closer scrutiny, subsequent to his death, revealed extraordinary clumsiness ("competing bids of tenders written in identical handwriting were recorded as being received within minutes of each other at the same location", for example), all backing up the theory of a senior figure overseeing the scam. The auditor also concludes that the "Commission side of the deal" had to have a foolproof protection itself from being blackmailed at a later date by the criminals they were dealing with. Again, a Masonic network within the Commission could be the sole guarantee to protect those involved in the cigarette fraud - citing the case in Italy where an under-cover police operation exposed a high-ranking Masonic network in Italy (called "P2") which investigating judges later concluded were found operating in Italian institutions as a conduit between criminals and corrupt public servants. It's an interesting theory, but Watt doesn't provide any link to the scenario in Brussels.
Watt nevertheless puts forward a scenario which would reasonably justify why Quatraro had to be the scapegoat - for both the Masonic network (that feared its identity and activities being exposed) and the Mafia groups (that stood to lose out if the network ceased to line up the cigarette deals). He says that Legras must have come "under intense pressure" from both sides to "ensure that the true extent of the conspiracy did not come to light". For the Masons, he suggests, a sacrifice had to be made and there was only one logical candidate: Antonio Quatraro.
The events of his suicide are sketchy though. The Belgian Police have told The Sprout that not even a press release exists of their investigation, which they concluded as an "unsolved murder". There are two scenarios over the specific details of the day of Quatraro's suicide, based on different accounts that were relayed to Watt by eye-witnesses in DG Agri's building on Rue de la Loi, in Brussels.