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Italy.. The Belgian prosecution ends the house arrest of two suspects in a bribery scandal in the European Union


Belgian prosecutors ended the house arrest they imposed on the wife and daughter of a former member of the European Parliament, in the midst of a bribery scandal that rocked the European Union, and then canceled their arrest warrants, a defense lawyer said Monday.

Maria Dolores Colleoni, wife of Antonio Panzieri, and his daughter, Silvia Panzieri, were under house arrest in implementation of a Belgian warrant. The authorities identified Benziri as the main suspect in a bribery-in-influence scandal linked to Qatar and Morocco.

Panziri had “agreed to testify and reveal secrets in exchange for a reduced sentence against him, pledging to disclose names and details of financial arrangements with other countries,” according to the Associated Press.

An Italian court in Brescia ruled that the mother and daughter could be handed over to the Belgian authorities for questioning. But before that happened, the Belgian authorities canceled their arrest warrants.

Instead, Colleoni and her daughter will be questioned before a judge in Belgium, their lawyer, Angelo Giovanni Di Riso, told The Associated Press. A date has not been set yet.

The wife and daughter were implicated in the case after 17,000 euros (about $18,500) were confiscated from their home in Bergamo, northeast of Milan. The police also confiscated computers, mobile phones, watches and documents. The two confirmed their innocence.

The family accountant was also placed under house arrest in the case with a Belgian warrant. A Milan court will decide on Tuesday whether to hand her over to the Belgian authorities.

The corruption scandal affected the Socialists and Democrats, who represent the second largest bloc in the European Parliament. A prominent member, former Vice-President of the European Parliament, Eva Kylie, was dismissed from her post after being detained at the beginning of last December on charges of corruption, money laundering and membership in a criminal organization.

Belgian prosecutors suspect that Cayley, along with Panziri, Cayley’s partner and friend Francesco Giorgi, and the head of the charity No Peace Without Justice, Nicolò Vega-Talamanca, received a bribe from Qatar and Morocco to influence the decision-making process in parliament.

Both countries deny the charges, according to the Associated Press.

Source: alhurra