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Two more MPs join the list of those “involved” in the Qatar Gate scandal


A European Parliamentary Committee unanimously supports lifting the immunity of the Belgian MPs Marc Tararabella and the Italian Andrea Cozzoli in the framework of an investigation on suspicion of involvement in the corruption case in the European Parliament.

BRUSSELS – A European parliamentary committee unanimously supported today, Tuesday, lifting the immunity of two deputies on suspicion of involvement in the case known in the media as “Qatar Gate”, which shook the European Union and cast a shadow over other European institutions in Brussels, following accusations of receiving bribes from Qatar in exchange for polishing its image and covering up criticism related to the file. Human rights before the start of the World Cup.

Prosecutors in Brussels urged lawmakers to strip immunity from Belgian MP Marc Tararabella and Italian legislator Andrea Cozzoli as part of an investigation into their suspected involvement in receiving bribes through which Qatar transferred funds through non-governmental organizations to influence decisions of the European Parliament, according to the allegations. The wealthy Gulf emirate denies it, stressing that it has not committed any wrongdoing.

The European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee voted unanimously in favor of stripping immunity, paving the way for a vote on the recommendation during a plenary session of Parliament on Thursday.

“There will be no impunity at all,” said Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, in a previous statement she made after the initiation of the procedure to lift the immunity of the two deputies, adding, “The officials will find this parliament alongside the law,” stressing that “corruption cannot come.” results and we will do everything to fight it.”

The Belgian authorities had arrested four suspects following searches of a number of places in December, including those of current and former lawmakers and parliamentary assistants, which led to the seizure of 1.5 million euros ($1.6 million) in cash.

Among the detainees, who were accused of corruption, money laundering and belonging to a criminal organization, was the Greek deputy in the European Union, Eva Kaili, who was one of the 14 deputy speakers of Parliament and was dismissed from her position.

As for the other detainees, the three are Italians, and they are her friend Francesco Giorgi, who was a parliamentary assistant, the former deputy Pierre Antonio Panziri, who founded a non-governmental organization that deals with Parliament, and Nicolo Vega Talamanca, the head of another civil organization that has the same address as Panziri.

The European Parliament is still under the shock of the scandal, as the left-wing member of the Legal Affairs Committee, Manon Aubry, wrote in a tweet after the committee’s vote, “Justice advances.”

Tarabella’s house was among the places that were searched in December, and the Belgian investigators insisted that he be stripped of his immunity along with Kotsuli so that they could expand the investigation, while the two maintain their innocence, denying all charges, while Georgie made partial confessions, according to reports.

As for Panziri, he entered into an agreement with the prosecutors in which he undertakes to provide evidence of the payment of bribes and related sums in exchange for a reduced sentence.

Kylie was unable to take advantage of her parliamentary immunity, especially after bags of banknotes were found in her apartment, and she was dismissed from her position as Vice-President of the European Parliament on December 13 of last year, following a near-unanimous vote by European representatives.

The repercussions of “Qatar Gate” affected the European-Qatari relations, despite Doha’s denial of any connection to the financial corruption scandal and its condemnation of Belgian practices, which it described as “selective”.

Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani recently confirmed that his country has nothing to do with the issue, indicating that it is a problem occurring in Europe for a European institution, calling for Doha not to be involved in the issue.

It is not excluded that this issue will cast a shadow over Europe’s supplies of Qatari gas, especially after the European Parliament voted to suspend all work related to Qatar and prevent its officials from entering its headquarters.

Source: Middle East Online