A Belgian MEP denounces “interested confessions” of a major suspect

“I claim and will still claim my innocence”. Marc Tarabella, Belgian Socialist MEP, targeted by justice in the alleged corruption case in the European Parliament, claimed his innocence and denounced the “interested confessions” of a key suspect, in a letter seen Thursday. A procedure is underway to have his parliamentary immunity lifted.

The elected official was excluded on Wednesday by the S & D group (Socialists & Democrats) in the European Parliament and by the Belgian Socialist Party, during the investigation. The Belgian was implicated by the former Italian MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri – one of the four suspects currently imprisoned in this alleged corruption case involving in particular Qatar -, who told investigators that he had paid the Belgian MEP “between 120,000 and 140,000 euros”, according to the newspaper l’Echo.

“I am judged […] on the basis of press articles or self-serving confessions”

“Today, I still haven’t had the right to defend myself. I claim and will still claim my innocence. I have never received money or gifts in exchange for my political opinions,” said Marc Tarabella in an email sent to the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs.

“I am judged by public opinion or by some of my colleagues on the basis of press articles or interested confessions of incarcerated people, confessions which have apparently changed over time contrary to my position”, denounces the man .

Pier Antonio Panzeri, who is a central figure in the case, has reached an agreement with the justice at the end of which he undertook to give information to the investigators in exchange for a limited prison sentence. A “repentant” status modeled on Italian anti-mafia practice.

The home of Marc Tarabella in the Liège region had been searched on December 10 as part of the investigation but no cash had been discovered.

The Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament must soon decide on the requests for the waiver of immunity of Marc Tarabella and another Socialist MEP, the Italian Andrea Cozzolino, transmitted at the beginning of January by the Belgian justice.

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