Suspicions of corruption in the European Parliament: a procedure launched to lift the immunity of two MEPs

One more step towards a possible condemnation. The European Parliament announced on Monday 2 January, having launched an emergency procedure to lift the immunity of two MEPs as part of the corruption investigation involving Qatar. The two elected officials concerned are the Italian Andrea Cozzolino and the Belgian Marc Tarabella, both belonging to the group of social democrats, learned France Télévisions, confirming information from AFP.

“There will be no impunity, absolutely none”, warned the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, on Monday. She specified that the procedure for lifting immunity had been initiated “following a request from the Belgian judicial authorities”. The request will be formally sent to MEPs on 16 January, before an internal review followed by a proposal for a decision and a vote by all MEPs in plenary.

The two elected officials are targeted as part of the investigation which led Belgian investigators to arrest the 9 December a vice-president of the institution, the Greek socialist MEP Eva Kaili. The latter did not benefit from her parliamentary immunity because of a flagrante delicto, bags of banknotes having been discovered in her apartment. In Belgium, the investigation gave rise to twenty searches between 9 and 12 December, including within the European Parliament. The home of Marc Tarabella had been searched on the 10 December in this context.

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