EU meeting lifts immunity of two lawmakers linked to scandal

EU meeting lifts immunity of two lawmakers linked to scandal

EU meeting lifts immunity of two lawmakers linked to scandal

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s parliament on Thursday eliminated the protecting immunity of two lawmakers linked to one of many bloc’s biggest-ever corruption scandalspaving the best way for them to be questioned by Belgian investigators.

In a present of arms, the meeting voted overwhelmingly to elevate the parliamentary immunity of Belgian lawmaker Marc Tarabella and Italian Andrea Cozzolino. Each males beforehand stated, by means of their legal professionals, that they’re prepared to cooperate with the Belgian authorities.

Dwell tv photos confirmed that Tarabella voted in favor of getting his personal immunity lifted.

The 2 have denied any hyperlinks to the scandalby which Qatari and Moroccan officers are suspected of providing bribes to affect selections on the European Parliament. Qatar and Morocco have additionally vehemently denied involvement, however the meeting has suspended work on all Qatar-related recordsdata.

Based on the report ready to permit Taraballa’s immunity to be lifted, a Belgian investigation reveals that he “might have been concerned in acts of corruption related with interference by a number of overseas states geared toward influencing the debates and selections taken within the European Parliament.”

It stated that “testimony towards him means that such funds had been made to him on a number of events, amounting to a complete of between” 120,000 and 140,000 euros ($132,00 and $154,000).

The Cozzolino report stated that the Italian EU lawmaker “is suspected of getting, from 2019 onwards, participated in an settlement with different individuals to cooperate in defending the pursuits of overseas states within the European Parliament.”

This was apparently accomplished, not less than partially, “by impeding the adoption of parliamentary resolutions that may injury the pursuits of these states, in change for sums of cash,” the report stated.

Tarabella and Cozzolino are from the center-left Socialists and Democrats (S&D) — the second-biggest political group within the meeting and which has been hardest hit by the corruption allegations.

The scandal got here to mild in early December after authorities launched a collection of raids throughout Brussels, and in Italy, seizing a whole lot of 1000’s of euros.

4 individuals had been charged with corruption, cash laundering and membership in a felony group. They’re S&D lawmaker Eva Kailiwho was an meeting vice chairman till the costs got here to mild; her companion and parliamentary assistant Francesco Giorgi; former S&D lawmaker Pier Antonio Panzeri, and the pinnacle of a charity group, Niccolo Figa-Talamanca.

Panzeri has since reached an settlement with Belgian prosecutors to behave as an informant. He has promised to disclose the names of these concerned and the way cash may need been moved round, in change for a lighter sentence.

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