Status: 09.12.2022 4:50 pm
Four people have been arrested in Belgium on suspicion of corruption in the European Parliament. A Gulf country is said to have tried to influence political decisions. According to media reports, it is about Qatar.
Belgian public prosecutors are investigating suspected corruption and influence in the European Parliament by a Gulf state. According to the public prosecutor, a total of 16 searches were carried out in Brussels. Four people were arrested. The investigation is about a suspected criminal organization and allegations of corruption and money laundering.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office did not say which Gulf country it was. However, according to research by the newspaper “Le Soir” and the magazine “Knack”, it is Qatar. Emirati representatives tried to bribe an Italian socialist who was a member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2019.
A former MP is also among the respondents.
According to the public prosecutor’s office, Belgian police had suspected for several months that a Gulf country was trying to influence political and economic decisions of the European Parliament. It is said that gifts in the form of large amounts of money or kind were distributed in the Parliament to persons who held political or strategic positions.
Originally, the probe was mainly targeted at the staff of MPs, it said. However, the respondents also included a former MEP. It was initially unclear whether he too had been arrested. According to the public prosecutor’s office, 600,000 euros in cash and mobile phones were seized during the search.
The press service of the EU Parliament did not want to comment on the raid when asked. He only said that the Chamber was cooperating fully with the Belgian police.
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