Suspicions of corruption in the European Parliament: Belgian MEP Marc Tarabella charged and imprisoned

The investigation into suspected interference by Qatar and Morocco in decisions in the European Parliament continues. Belgian MEP Marc Tarabella was charged and then remanded in custody on Saturday February 11, the federal prosecutor’s office announced. The elected socialist, aged 59, was imprisoned after his indictment for “corruption”, “money laundering” and “participation in a criminal organization”, said the spokesman for the federal prosecution, Eric van der Sijpt , to AFP.

Three other people, including Greek MEP Eva Kaili, are already imprisoned in this scandal which broke out on December 9 and led to a wave of arrests in Brussels. That day, Belgian investigators got their hands on around 1.5 million euros in cash in bags or suitcases, discovered in particular at the Brussels homes of Eva Kaili and Pier Antonio Panzeri.

The latter, a former Italian MEP and key suspect in the case, admitted in January having orchestrated this fraud. He reached an agreement with the prosecution providing for a prison sentence limited to one year, in exchange for precise declarations on the fraud and the people involved.

Another MEP arrested on Friday

According to the Belgian press, Antonio Panzeri implicated Marc Tarabella before the investigators in December shortly after his arrest. He claimed to have paid her “between 120,000 and 140,000 euros” on several occasions for his assistance in matters relating to Qatar. The Belgian elected official denied any embezzlement and demanded to be heard to explain himself.

Belgian justice had to wait for the end of the procedure for lifting immunity in Parliament, on February 2, to consider any coercive measure. In the same investigation, another Socialist MEP, the Italian Andrea Cozzolino, also deprived of his immunity on February 2, was arrested on Friday in Italy under an international arrest warrant, Eric van der Sijpt confirmed on Saturday. the AFP. Belgian justice is now awaiting his extradition.

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