Brussels bubble closes ranks to thwart corruption investigation

The silence surrounding the European Parliament's biggest ever corruption scandal is growing increasingly deafening, with some saying the case will not even go to trial. This is no surprise, considering that there's a lot for Brussels bureaucrats to keep under wraps.

POLITICS JANUARY 8. 2024 18:33

Nearly thirteen months after the outbreak of the Brussels corruption scandal known as Qatargate, questions mount regarding the handling of the investigation, Le Monde reports. The French newspaper writes that

some sources are now suggesting that a standstill could even lead to the dismissal of charges.

To recap, the European Union’s biggest ever corruption scandal broke out in December 2022, when the Belgian federal police arrested Greek MEP Eva Kaili, after an investigation into charges of corruption, money laundering and organised crime, among other crimes. In addition to Kaili, who also happened to be a vice president of the European Parliament at the time, her partner, Francesco Giorgi and the ex-socialist MEP Antonio Panzeri were also arrested. What was presented at the time as an extensive network of influence, soon came to implicate several other figures who are still being investigated by the police and judicial authorities, yet the main culprits including Pier Antonio Panzeri, who confessed, have been released from custody pending trial.

There is uncertainty as to whether the case will go to trial,

writes Le Monde.

The question is no longer taboo in legal circles, and according to a source who requested anonymity, there is a 50 – 50 chance of a trial, while enormous pressure is weighing on those working on the case.

„I’ve been a federal prosecutor for almost ten years and I’ve never seen such pressure. Information leaks are coming from everywhere, foreign judges are contacting us and sometimes wanting to interfere in the investigation, outbursts are targeting the previous investigating judge and his family. As far as I’m concerned, it’s disgusting,” said Frederic Van Leeuw, the prosecutor in the case.

A Boulevard Voltaire francia hírportál szerint épp ezek az igazságszolgálatást befolyásoló próbálkozások mutatják meg azt, hogy

The French news portal Boulevard Voltaire writes that it is these attempts to influence the administration of justice that reveal

how far they are willing to go to suppress the truth when it could expose „the fraud of self-styled elites”.

In the wake of the corruption scandal that shook the European Parliament, the European Commission is preparing to set up a new ethics committee to oversee all EU institutions. But questions are already being raised about the effectiveness of the new body. And that bureaucrats are defensively closing ranks in the Brussels bubble is hardly surprising.

The Brussels corruption scandal has also highlighted the endless web of corruption networks that can run deep within the Brussels institutions, making it in the interest of many to keep concealed from probing authorities.

They hypocritically talk of open borders and energy conservation, while living their daily lives in luxury mansions protected by huge walls. And they are brazen enough to spend public money on their own homes whenever they can.

For example, the cunning European People’s Party politician Manfred Weber has turned his own family home into a party office in order to pocket a few thousand euros.. But the MEP for the liberal Renew Europe group has also spent hundreds of thousands of euros of public money on renovating his luxury house.




corruption, european parliament, qatargate