Qatargate the Belgian judiciary seeks the lifting of immunity for

Qatargate, the Belgian judiciary seeks the lifting of immunity for Cozzolino and Tarabella

Their names appear in the records of the investigation into Qatar’s and Morocco’s interference in the European Parliament

BRUSSELS – Belgian justice has asked the European Parliament to lift the immunity of Italian MEP Andrea Cozzolino and his Italian-Belgian counterpart Marc Tarabella, whose names appear in the investigative file into Qatar-Morocco interference in the Assembly’s proceedings.

The request for the waiver of immunity was widely expected for the two MEPs, whose names appear several times in the documents of the investigation that has angered the European Parliament.

Tarabella and Cozzolino must therefore now be officially added to the list of suspects, who at the moment are Antonio Panzeri, the former Democratic Party MEP, and then Article One, Eva Kaili, the recently sacked Vice-President of Parliament, according to Weeks, who, like Kaili’s companion Francesco Giorgi and the secretary of the NGO No Peace Without Justice Niccolò Figà Talamanca, who was also arrested, are in prison.

Then there is Panzeri’s wife and daughter, Maria Dolores Colleoni and Silvia Panzeri, who are under house arrest in Italy, Luca Visentini, secretary (suspended) of the International Trade Union Confederation, released immediately.

The Belgian judiciary, as required by law, forwarded the request to the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, who in turn granted the emergency procedure to lift the immunity, as announced by the Parliament itself, which will officially announce the names of the two parliamentarians on January 16, when the first plenary session is scheduled. The application is then forwarded to the legal committee d for submission of a proposal for a decision.

“From the outset, the European Parliament has done everything in its power to assist the investigation and we will continue to ensure that there is no impunity. Those responsible will find this Parliament on the side of the law. Corruption does not pay off and we will do everything we can to fight it,” said the President.

Metsola will also outline its reform intentions in the coming weeks, including a review of current regulations and improvements to internal systems.

January 2, 2023 (change January 2, 2023 | 16:18)