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Qatar suspected of corruption in the European Parliament

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Four people including a former MEP were arrested this Friday, December 9 in Brussels as part of an investigation by a financial judge on suspicion of corruption by a ” Gulf States “ within the European Parliament, announced the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office.

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The country is not named by the prosecution. According to the Belgian newspaper “Le Soir” and the website of the Belgian weekly “Knack”, it would be Qatar whose officials tried to corrupt an elected Italian socialist who was MEP from 2004 to 2019.

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The investigation is aimed, among other things, at facts of ” corruption “ and of “money laundering” in an organized gang, according to a press release from the prosecution.

16 searches carried out in Brussels

For several months, the Belgian investigators “suspect a Gulf country of influencing the economic and political decisions of the European Parliament, by paying substantial sums of money or offering significant gifts to third parties having a significant political and/or strategic position” within this institution.

The identity of those arrested has not been revealed by the federal prosecutor’s office, which has jurisdiction in Belgium for terrorism and organized crime cases.

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This Friday morning, as part of this investigation by a Brussels judge, sixteen searches were carried out by the police in various municipalities in the Belgian capital (where the European Parliament has its headquarters).

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In addition to the four arrests, the police got their hands on “about 600,000 euros in cash”as well as “computer equipment and mobile phones” whose contents will be analyzed.

“This operation was aimed in particular at parliamentary assistants working in the European Parliament. Among those arrested is a former European parliamentarian.still indicates the parquet floor.

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