The European Parliament has launched an urgent procedure to lift the immunity of two MEPs. under Qatargate. “There will be no impunity. None,” announced Eurochamber President Roberta Metsola, stressing that the decision was taken at the request of the Belgian judicial authorities.
According to the Belgian newspapers Le Soir and Knack, Andrea Cozzolino and Marc Tarabella are the two MEPs for whom the Belgian judiciary has requested the lifting of the Eurochamber’s parliamentary immunity.
“We confirm that we have applied for the waiver of the parliamentary immunity of two members of the European Parliament, but we will not give names or other information,” said the spokesman for the Brussels public prosecutor’s office when asked.
Socialist MEP Marc Tarabella’s home was searched on December 10 in the presence of Eurochamber President Roberta Metsola, a day after the arrest of six people in connection with Qatargate, including Parliament Vice-President Eva Kaili. his companion Francesco Giorgi and former Italian MEP Antonio Panzeri. Tarabella, Le Soir recalls, firmly claims that she never received a gift from Qatar. Giorgi is Cozzolino’s parliamentary assistant and according to Belgian press reports, he has admitted receiving money from Morocco and Qatar to represent his interests in parliament. Cozzolino, through his attorneys, recently asked to be heard by investigators, while maintaining his innocence.
The procedure for waiving parliamentary immunities: at the start of the plenary session on 16 January
According to the procedure established by the regulation of the European Parliament, the Legal Commission appoints a rapporteur and the cases in question are presented during a meeting of the Commission itself, where a hearing may also take place. The draft report will then be discussed and voted on by the Commission, which will make a recommendation to Parliament as a whole to accept or reject the motion. All immunity cases are negotiated behind closed doors.
The recommendation is then submitted to the plenary session. In the event of approval by a simple majority in plenary, the President shall immediately communicate Parliament’s decision to the member(s) concerned and to the competent national authority. The President of the European Parliament, it is said, has asked all services and commissions to give priority to this procedure, with a view to its completion by February 13, 2023. The President of the European Parliament will announce the request to waive parliamentary immunity for procedures Two MPs implicated in the Qatari corruption scandal at the first possible plenary session of Parliament on January 16. The application is then forwarded to the Legal Committee (Juri) for submission of a proposal for a decision. The European Parliament communicates it.
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