European lawmaker Marc Tarabella has been charged with corruption, money laundering, and the membership of a criminal organization by a Belgian investigating judge.
The European Parliament member was remanded in custody, a spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office said when contacted by Bloomberg News. A lawyer representing Tarabella didn’t return a phone call outside regular office hours.
Tarabella, who was excluded from the Belgian Socialist Party three weeks ago, was arrested on Friday after the European Parliament voted this month to waive immunity for him and also for another member, Italy’s Andrea Cozzolino.
Italian police arrested Cozzolino in Naples on the same day, executing a Belgian order, according to media reports. He was detained while at a local clinic where he had sought treatment for an unspecified condition.
The Italian newswire Ansa reported Saturday that Cozzolino had been questioned in Naples, where he’s still in custody, and that he said he trusts the judiciary steps ahead. Cozzolino’s lawyer didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The two men have been linked to a high-profile bribery scandal. Belgian authorities since 2021 have investigated possible foreign interference in EU decision-making.
Investigators also carried out searches of a bank safe and several offices in the context of their probe into whether big-money bribes were paid to sway the outcome of European Parliament debates related to Qatar and Morocco.
Cozzolino is accused of allegedly having been in touch with Moroccan secret services for illicit lobbying activity.
February 11, 2023 Published by The Bloomberg News.