fotografie peter Hilz (C)

Four suspects arrested in European Parliament corruption investigation

The Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office reports that four suspects have been arrested in the investigation into possible corruption at the European Parliament.  They have been charged with being members of a criminal organisation, money laundering and corruption. 

In a statement released early on Sunday afternoon the Federal Public Prosecutor’s office added that "Two persons were released by the Examining Magistrate." According to VRT News' sources the allegations involve a bribe that was made by the authorities in the Gulf state of Qatar.

On Saturday evening the home of a second MEP was searched. The weekly news magazine ‘Knack’ and the Francophone daily ‘Le Soir’ say that this was the home of the Belgian Francophone socialist MEP Marc Tarabella. Marc Tarabella is is the Vice-Chairman of the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with the Arabian Penisular. He recently made several positive statements with regard to Qatar. 

Mr Tarabella is the second MEP whose home as been searched as part of the investigation into alleged corruption relating to the Guld State.

According to the Federal Public Prosecutor's office, an investigation has been underway for several months into suspected attempts by the authorities from a country in Persian Gulf to try and influence the decision-making process at the European Parliament by to paying large sums of money or offering substantial gifts. VRT News' sources say that the country involved is Qatar.

As part of the investigation, sixteen properties were searched on Friday. They were in Elsene,  Schaarbeek, Kraainem, Vorst and Brussels. A total of 6 people were detained. Detectives also seized 600,000 euro, computers and mobile phones.

Four of the six people detained have now been arrested. According to the French press agency AFP, the now suspended Deputy Speaker of the European Parliament Eva Kaili is among those arrested.

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