Brussels (EFE).- The Belgian police carried out a search of the headquarters of the European Parliament (EP) in Brussels to seize data necessary for the investigation of an alleged case of corruption and money laundering by workers of this institution related to Taste.
“Since Friday, with the support of the European Parliament’s security services, the IT resources of ten parliamentary staff had been ‘frozen’ in order to prevent the data necessary for the investigation from disappearing. Today’s registration with the European Parliament was intended to collect this data,” the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
The announcement of the Public Prosecutor’s Office coincided precisely with the celebration of a debate in the plenary session of the institution, which meets this week in the French city of Strasbourg -official seat of the institution-, on the case of alleged corruption , money laundering and criminal organization revealed last Friday by Belgian justice, which had been investigating for five months.
Several MEPs investigated
In its press release, the Belgian public prosecutor confirmed that a total of 20 searches have taken place since that day, including 19 in private residences and offices, to which are added this afternoon in the premises of the European Parliament.
There were confiscated “several hundred thousand euros”, in particular 600,000 euros from the home of one of the suspects, “several hundred thousand euros in a suitcase in a Brussels hotel room” and “some 150,000 euros in an MEP’s apartment”. “, according to the prosecution.
He confirmed that of the six people held for questioning, four have been arrested and will appear before the Chambre du Conseil – a Belgian court – on Wednesday, including a member of the European Parliament.
Although the prosecution did not provide the data, it is known that the vice-president of the European Parliament Eva Kailí, of the Greek socialist formation PASOK, is accused, as well as the former MEP Antonio Panzeri, who currently led the NGO Fight Impunity and whose wife and daughter were arrested in Italy on Friday in connection with the case.
According to Belgian media, the 600,000 euros in cash were found at Panzeri, while Kailí’s father was located leaving a hotel laden with bags of money and at the EP vice-president herself, they reportedly found at least 150,000 euros in cash and other valuables.
The Belgian Public Prosecutor’s Office also confirmed that a search of the home of a Belgian MEP had been carried out this weekend in the presence of the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola. It would be the Socialist MEP Marc Tarabella, according to the Belgian press.
Among the registered residences and offices would be those of some of his parliamentary aides, as well as Belgian MEP, also a socialist, Maria Arena, who today temporarily resigned as chair of the parliamentary human rights subcommittee. man until there is “clarity” on releasing it.
The Belgian Public Prosecutor’s Office underlined the “excellent collaboration” with the European Parliament’s security services in the investigation and recalled that in the event of a flagrant crime, the authorities can intervene, including by searches, although MEPs enjoy of immunity.