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European Parliament Head Vows ‘No Impunity’ for Suspects in Corruption Scandal Probe

Previously, the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office said that four individuals had been charged with “participation in a criminal organization, money-laundering and corruption” as part of an inquiry into possible bribery at the European Parliament, with authorities carrying out several arrests and searches in Brussels on 9 December.

As the corruption scandal at the European Parliament continues to reverberate, the president of the EU’s law-making body, Roberta Metsola warned MEPs that there would be “no impunity” in the graft probe.

“Make no mistake, the European Parliament, dear colleagues, is under attack. European democracy is under attack,” Metsola said at the opening of the December plenary session.

Promising to assist in investigations together with other EU institutions, Metsola vowed there would be a review of the lobbying and transparency rules, adding:

“There will be no sweeping under the carpet. We will launch an internal investigation to look at all the facts related to the Parliament and to look at how our systems can become yet more watertight.”

The accusations at the root of the scandal were pronounced as “very serious” by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who urged the need for a new ethics body for the bloc.

‘Money-Under-The-Table Scheme’

Four individuals have already been charged in Belgium by prosecutors investigating allegations of corruption at the European Parliament.

“Four individuals have been arrested by the Brussels investigating judge who is leading the investigation. They are charged with participation in a criminal organization, money-laundering and corruption. Two people have been released by the investigating judge,” the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office said in a statement earlier.

On December 12, Belgian prosecutors said that they had searched 19 private residences and offices, with numerous Parliament offices also cordoned off as the latest raids were intended to recover IT equipment. As for the “bags of cash” mentioned in earlier reports, the prosecutors confirmed that they had seized €600,000 euros at the home of one suspect.

Furthermore, several hundred thousand euros were discovered in a suitcase in a Brussels hotel room, along with €150,000 in an apartment belonging to an MEP, according to the prosecutor’s office, cited by media.

While prosecutors in Brussels stopped short of officially naming those in custody, according to media reports, Greek MEP Eva Kaili is among them along with Francesco Giorgi – her parliamentary adviser – a former Italian Social Democratic MEP, Pier Antonio Panzeri, and a Brussels lobbyist. Kaili has since been stripped of her duties in the European parliament and expelled from the Greek PASOK-KINAL (Panhellenic Socialist Movement — Movement for Change) party.

Belgium’s federal prosecutor revealed earlier that they were investigating allegations of corruption in the European parliament, as they believed a Gulf country had resorted to bribes and gifts in an effort to influence decision-making.

“It is suspected that third parties in political and/or strategic positions within the European parliament were paid large sums of money or offered substantial gifts to influence parliament’s decisions,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

The four suspects in custody are to appear in court Wednesday, the prosecutors confirmed to the media.

Some Belgian reports suggested that Qatar was the country implicated in the scandal, and the probe was ostensibly linked with the holding of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in the Gulf state. In response, a Qatari official was cited as denying any allegations of misconduct, saying:

“Any association of the Qatari government with the reported claims is baseless and gravely misinformed.”

Meanwhile, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban went on Twitter to take a dig at the bloc that he has accused of imposing its will on his country over such issues as migration, sex education and sanctions by continuing to block EU funds allocated to it. Referencing the European Commission’s recommendation to freeze 7.5 billion euros ($7.8 billion) in EU budget funding for Hungary until Budapest “fulfills all its conditions,” Orban tweeted a photo of former US presidents Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush laughing that is often used as a meme.

EU Corruption news

“Good morning to the European Parliament!” the Hungarian Prime Minister sarcastically captioned his post.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. it is a ” certain kind” of human beeings that work for the european commission or eu parliament. Many are corrupt(able). Not only their salaries are free of taxes, like all international organizations. But when you have plenty, it seems for those people still not to be enough. We pay taxes for this kind of parasites who takes decisions that will impact our lives and without our consent .
    And many are those of common people who disagree with its decisions. The brits were fed up and quit. Many europeans are envious of them, of that you can be sure

    • You’re talking about a woman who openly said last year that it was time to “recalibrate the meaning of human rights” without batting an eyelid.

      She knows she’s untouchable.

  2. The most corrupt countryin Europe is Ukraine and fully supported by the EU Parliament. EU leaders go “holy” pilgirimage to Kiev and get the blessings of the Coke addict Zelensky. Where this fits in with the so called “anti-corruption” stand of EU. Such a hypocrisy.

    • yea, uncle joe has a privilege relationship with ukrainian nazis. Bil gates owns the western press through his foundation. CIA has a file on brigitte and also on macron who is gay ( as most of his ” close” colleagues) .A bunch of top corrupt leaders

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