Bribes and gifts from Qatar to influence the decisions of the European Parliament. In particular to defend the reputation of world Championships Of soccer. It is the center of the investigation of the federal police of the Belgium which led to a blitz with 16 searches in various Municipalities of the area Brussels. On the international day against corruption, therefore, a maxi investigation into bribes rocked the heart of the European institutions and especially the Socialist party. Four people have been arrested and are being interrogated: among them are the former MEP of the Democratic Party and Article 1 Antonio Panzeri – former secretary of the Chamber of Labor in Milan from 1995 to 2003 and then EU parliamentarian until 2019 – and the trade unionist Luca Visentiniformer manager of the Uil in Friuli Venezia Giulia who has been at the head of the for a few weeks Ituc, the world trade union confederation (representing more than 200 million workers). The other two stopped are Francis Georgeformer parliamentary assistant of Panzeri, e Niccolo Figà-Talamancageneral secretary of the NGO No Peace Without Justice. Among the disputed charges are “criminal organization”, corruption and money laundry.
Involved the vice president of the EU parliament: suspended by the S&d – Among the people involved also the vice president of the Parliament Eva Kailishe too social democraticwhich was heard by investigators on Friday afternoon: his home, the newspaper said Le Soirwas searched. Kaili was “stop to be interrogatedby the police, he toldafp a source close to the investigation. The involvement of Kaili it is a crucial step in the investigation. Greek politics is in fact the companion of Francis George. Since Kaili is an MEP in office, however, she enjoys immunity: in fact, the only way to arrest someone elected is to catch him in flagrant. Kaili was suspended “with immediate effect” by the group in the evening Socialists and Democrats to the European Parliament. A few hours before, already the Pasokhis party in Greece, had instead already decided on his expulsion.
In Panzeri’s house 500 thousand euros in cash – The news of the investigation was anticipated by the newspapers of Belgiumespecially the newspaper Le Soir and from the weekly Snaps. The leaders of the Socialists & Democrats, of which Panzeri was a member until a few years ago, met urgently in the afternoon. The investigations allowed the investigators to get their hands on 600,000 euros in cash. Computer equipment and mobile phones were seized and will be analyzed as part of the investigation. This operation concerns in particular the parliamentary assistants who work in the European Parliament”. Five hundred thousand euros cash kidnapped they were found in Panzeri’s home.
Panzeri’s wife and daughter in prison – But Panzeri’s wife and daughter were also involved in the investigation: Maria Colleoniaged 67, e Sylvia Panzeriof 38. The two women are being identified at Calusco d’Addain the province of Bergamo, affected by a European arrest warrant which orders the prison: they would be accused of aiding and abetting. The women are now in prison in Bergamo. Also searched the headquarters of Fight Impunity, the NGO founded in September 2019 by Panzeri, who in the same year had given up on the role of MEP. The NGO is active in the field of respect for human rights. After all, Panzeri himself was president of the Human Rights Subcommittee of the European Parliament.
Prosecutors’ allegations The one started in July 2022 by the Belgian authorities and coordinated by the federal prosecutor’s office is an investigation that is causing a unprecedented earthquake inside the buildings of the European institutions. A case of corruption and money laundry which, if much more ramified ties were demonstrated with other political exponents sitting among the benches of the Eurochamber, would risk undermining the credibility of the institutions themselves. The investigators “suspect that a Gulf country is seeking to influence the economic and political decisions of the European Parliament by paying large sums of money or offering significant gifts to third parties who hold a significant political and/or strategic position within the European Parliament”. The accusation, the Belgian newspapers specify, does not mention the Qatarbut several well-informed sources have reported that it was precisely who paid the bribes Doha. Their goal, while the matches of the World Cupwould have been precisely to defend the legitimacy of the competition from the accusations of violation of human rights and gods workers rights, underlining the alleged progress of the Qatari monarchy. More information about the organization’s architecture could emerge from the analyzes of the computer equipment and gods phones seized by the investigators during the raids which mainly concerned the parliamentary assistants linked to the group Socialists and Democrats and, in one case, al European People’s Party.
The protection of human rights – Panzeri and Visentini, in addition to the assiduous attendance with the Eurochamber, have another thing in common: the commitment to rights humans. Both, in fact, are linked to the NGO Fight Impunityfounded by the former Lombard MEP himself in 2019. And it is precisely on the track of the protection of human rights, especially with the approach of the World Cup, that the relationship with the Qatar. In Strasbourg, at last year’s Plenary Novembera debate on the situation of human and labor rights in the Gulf State took place after the controversy over the treatment of foreign employees who contributed to the construction of stadiums for the World Cup. And, already in those days, several in the Pe had asserted that the final resolution It could have been More severe. On November 1, however, Vice President Kaili had met the Qatari Minister of Labour Ali bin Samikh Al Marri“welcoming the commitment” of Doha “for i rights of workers“.