‘Qatargate’: EU initiates proceedings on immunity of two MPs

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Parliament on Monday began a month-long procedure to lift the immunity of two MEPs following a request from Belgian courts as part of an investigation into a corruption scandal linked to in Qatar.

Speaking before the Parliament in Strasbourg, its President Roberta Metsola indicated that Belgium had requested the lifting of the parliamentary immunity of the Italian Andrea Cozzolino and the Belgian Marc Tarabella, two Social Democrat MEPs.

This request will be examined by the parliamentary committee on legal affairs, which should deliver its conclusions within a month in order to allow a vote by Parliament during the next plenary session, scheduled for mid-February.

Andrea Cozzolino and Marc Tarabella deny any wrongdoing. They had made it known via their lawyers that they were prepared to waive their immunity and answer questions from Belgian investigators.

Reuters had learned from sources familiar with the matter that the two MEPs were the targets of accusations made by Francesco Giorgi, the companion of the deposed vice-president of the European Parliament, Eva Kaili, who are both in detention in the framework of the “Qatargate”.

Francesco Giorgi, a parliamentary assistant, admitted to investigators that he took bribes from Doha to influence European Parliament decisions regarding Qatar, informed sources said in December.

(Report Philip Blenkinsop; French version Jean Terzian)

Add a Comment