May 30, 2023

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Corruption in the European Parliament: Moroccan influence networks from the perspective of investigators

A wide-ranging anti-corruption investigation in Belgium has not weakened the European Parliament, and continues to sway MEPs thanks to new revelations. This time, the deputy of Eva Kylie, the fallen European Parliament’s No. 2, is in the confessional of corruption and interference in Morocco’s service in particular, and the kingdom’s secret services have been singled out. details

Francesco Giorgi, a fellow Greek MEP arrested for aid received from Qatar, a parliamentary assistant to Eva Kaili and former Italian MP Andrea Cozzolino, admitted his role. Qatar corruption scandalAccording to court documents consulted by Belgian daily newspapers the evening and Italian Republic.

Giorgi admitted before police and a judge that he was part of a criminal organization used by both Morocco and Qatar with the intention of interfering in European affairs. During his investigations, he also implicates the Belgian vice-president Marc Darabella, who defends himself from any involvement and corruption.

He also denounced the actions of two other MEPs who participated in the corruption network, according to Giorgi: the Italian Andrea Cozzolino and former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, who, according to Giorgi, is the thought leader of the network. Corrupt, we say.

Let’s remember that the investigators found a large amount of people of Qatari origin in Banseri. In detail, Panzeri, as we reported earlier, is suspected “Politically intervened with MEPs against payments in favor of Qatar and Morocco”According to court documents published by Italian media.

His wife and daughter will be present “Carrying Gifts”, This was done by the Moroccan Ambassador to Poland, Abd Rahim Admoun. Proud to be “a friend” Of the former MEP, with the pictures we see of him in his company through various publications broadcast on social networks.

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Morocco’s secret services stand out

No fewer than 16 searches by Belgian authorities have targeted European Parliament figures in recent days. As part of the investigation, all were arrested and charged on December 11 “Suspicions of corruption linked to Qatar within the EU”, According to Belgian media, citing judicial sources.

According to the source, the investigating agency has started an investigation “A European country that expelled foreign intervention”. This information was sent to the Belgian State Security, whose agents secretly entered the apartment of the former Italian deputy Pier Antonio Panzeri and found a very large sum (more than 500 000 euros).

For its part, Morocco is said to have been involved in the matter through its foreign intelligence service, the DGED – General Directorate for Investigations and Documents. Actually, according to the documents the evening And Republic Able to consult, Antonio Panzeri, Andrea Cozzolino and Francesco Giorgi have been in contact with DGED and Abderrahim Atmoun.

Note that in addition to the Moroccan diplomat, two agents of the kingdom’s intelligence are cited in these documents. the evening Could not contact them.

Meanwhile, former MEP Ana Gomez said “Raised several times against the complacency of some MEPs who supported Morocco’s positions, which were doing everything to defeat our positions on Western Sahara”.

For her part, she answered the questions described“shame”Frédérique Ries, the MEP under investigation, declared that she did not accept gifts or pay for trips to Morocco before being cleared of any charges.

She also said no “Fully unaware of Morocco’s role in creating EuroMedA Foundation” Who, she says “Aims to foster cultural and historical ties between the European Union and Morocco”. Frédérique Ries sits on the board of directors of this foundation.

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Let’s remember that Euromeda It has long been accused of being a lobbying tool in the service of Moroccan interests in the EU. It was co-founded in 2018 by former Moroccan minister Mohamed Chek Biaadilla, and co-chaired by former foreign minister Salaheddin Mezouar.

The European Parliament responded that Morocco remained silent

This Wednesday, the defendants appeared before the Council Chamber of the Brussels Court. Pier Antonio Panzer and Francesco Giorgi remain in custody, while the examination of Eva Kylie’s situation has been postponed until next Thursday.

For his part, Niccolo Figa Talamanca, head of the NGO No Peace Without Justice, has been placed under house arrest with an electronic bracelet.

The following day, in reaction to the affair, the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metzola, announced the reforms. scale” Pour 2023.

“I am in the process of putting together a package of far-reaching reforms that will be ready early next year.”He told a European summit in Brussels that he specifically mentioned strengthening whistleblower protection and banning unofficial friendship groups with third countries.

MEPs, meeting in plenary in Strasbourg, voted almost unanimously for the text they were asking for. “Insist on suspension of access permits for representatives of Qatari interests”, Time of judicial investigations. A decision to be scrutinized first by the President of the European Parliament.

Morocco prefers to remain silent. Rabat has made no official reaction since the revelations at the bottom of the investigation, which rocked the European Parliament and notably involved the Moroccan diplomat. Doha has denied any involvement in these corrupt efforts.

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