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Alleged corruption in the European Parliament: a suspect released


An NGO leader who was among four suspects jailed in December in an investigation into an alleged corruption scandal in parliament...

An NGO leader who was one of four suspects imprisoned in December in the investigation of an alleged corruption scandal in the European Parliament has been released, the Belgian federal prosecutor's office announced on Monday (February 6th).

This is the Italian Niccolo Figa-Talamanca, who had stepped down from his duties as secretary general of the NGO “

No Peace Without Justice

” on December 12, the day after his imprisonment.

1.5 million euros in cash

Belgian justice has been investigating since the summer of 2022 a system of corruption involving in particular Qatar and Morocco within the only elected institution of the European Union.

The case broke out on December 9 with the arrest of six suspects and the seizure in several places in Brussels of a total of 1.5 million euros in cash transported in bags or suitcases.

Four of the six suspects were imprisoned by the investigating judge, including Greek MEP Eva Kaili, stripped of her post as vice-president of Parliament, where the scandal created a shock wave.

According to the Belgian newspaper


, Niccolo Figa-Talamanca was served with his release by the investigating judge on Friday, the day after a police hearing of the "


" Pier Antonio Panzeri.

Read alsoQatargate: two MEPs lose their immunity

This former Italian MEP, central figure in the file, who agreed on January 17 to collaborate with the investigators, would have relativized the role of Niccolo Figa-Talamanca in what has been described as a "

criminal organization

" for the benefit of foreign powers.

At the current stage, the elements of the file no longer justify his incarceration

,” a spokesperson for the federal prosecutor's office simply told AFP, refusing to comment on a possible link with Mr. Panzeri's hearing.

So remain imprisoned Eva Kaili, Mr. Panzeri (who negotiated a one-year prison sentence) as well as Francesco Giorgi, former parliamentary assistant to the latter and who is also the companion of the Greek MEP.

In this investigation, two other MEPs, the Belgian Marc Tarabella and the Italian Andrea Cozzolino, could be heard soon.

The European Parliament lifted their immunity last Thursday in plenary session.

The two elected deny any embezzlement.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-02-06

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