Tarabella shortly after his parliamentary immunity was lifted
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 14:43
Belgian MEP Marc Tarabella has been arrested in the investigation into the bribery scandal in the European Parliament. The politician is suspected of money laundering, corruption and membership of a criminal organization. The Belgian Public Prosecution Service confirms this to the Flemish broadcaster VRT. He is due to appear in court next Thursday.
Tarabella was detained for questioning yesterday morning after his parliamentary immunity was lifted by the European Parliament two weeks earlier. His bank vault was also searched yesterday.
The scandal revolves around the alleged bribery of MEPs by Qatar and Morocco.
Expelled from party and faction
Tarabella was a member of the Walloon Parti Socialiste and the Social Democratic group of the European Parliament. He was also vice-chairman of the committee dealing with parliament’s relations with Qatar and other Arab countries. Because of the scandal, he was expelled from his party and the Brussels faction.
The former MEP who is seen as the linchpin in the scandal, Pier Antonio Panzeri, said earlier, according to Belgian media, that he had paid 120,000 to 140,000 euros to Tarabella for representing Qatar’s interests in Brussels.