January 31, 2023

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The European Parliament begins the procedure to waive the immunity of two elected officials

The two elected officials are Italian Andrea Cozzolino and Belgian Marc Darabella from the S&D group (Social Democrats).

The European Parliament announced on Monday, January 2, that it had launched an emergency procedure following a request by Belgian judicial authorities. Immunity of two MEPs As part of a corruption investigation within a Qatari-related company.

The two elected officials involved are Italian Andrea Cozzolino and Belgian Marc Darabella, both from the S&D group (Social Democrats), AFP has learned from sources familiar with the matter. The two were targeted as part of an investigation that led Belgian investigators to arrest Greek Socialist MEP Eva Kyli, the company’s vice-chairman, on December 9.

Among those arrested were Italian Francesco Giorgi, the latter’s companion, Andrea Cozzolino’s parliamentary assistant, former Italian Socialist MEP Pier-Antonio Panzeri, and Niccolò Figa-Talamanca, an NGO official. These four persons were charged with “Membership in a criminal organization“,”Financial fraud“and”CorruptionA scandal that sent shock waves through the European Parliament and tensions between Qatar and the European Union.

Eva Kylie did not benefit from her parliamentary immunity because the crime was discovered in flamant delicto.Ticket bagsFound in his apartment. He was stripped of his position as Vice-President of the European Parliament on 13 December by an almost unanimous vote of MEPs. In Belgium, the investigation led to twenty searches, including in the European Parliament, between 9 and 12 December. It was in this context that Mark Darabella’s home was raided on December 10, a Justice Department source said.

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«No impunity»

In total, Belgian investigators recovered 1.5 million euros in cash, according to a judicial source, Mr. Seized from Panzeri and Eva Kylie’s homes and from a suitcase carried by her father. “In response to a request by the Belgian judicial authorities, I initiated an urgent procedure to waive the immunity of two Members of Parliament. There will be no punishment, absolutely noneEuropean Parliament President Roberta Metzola said on Twitter on Monday. “Officials will see this Parliament on the side of law. Corruption cannot be paid and we will do everything to fight it“, she also said.

Roberta Metzola will formally present the request to MEPs during the next plenary session in Strasbourg on 16 January. The Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) will then scrutinize it behind closed doors and spell out a proposal for a decision, which will ultimately be voted on by all MEPs in the plenary. Speaker of ParliamentIt asked all departments and committees to prioritize the process with a view to its completion on February 13“, states the press release.

As of December 13, the Belgian Socialist Party has decided to suspend Marc Darabella from his membership. On December 16, the Italian Democratic Party announced its suspensionAs a preventive measure» Andrea Cozzolino to his members registration, «Until the investigations into the +Qatargate+ corruption are over“, in order to”To protect the image of the party».

See more – Qatargate: Eva Kylie’s lawyers demand employment under electronic bracelet