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Another MEP’s House Raided as EU Corruption Scandal Widens



Anti-fraud police raided the house of Belgian Socialist MEP Maria Arena late last night as part of the investigation into ‘Qatargate’, a corruption scandal engulfing the EU.

Several MEPs from Arena’s center-left Socialists & Democrats group have been implicated along with other MEPs so far but, to date, Arena, who was mentioned in an arrest warrant earlier this year, had not been charged by Belgian prosecutors. The MEPs stand accused of taking bribes from Qatar and Morocco.

Arena resigned from her role as chair of the subcommittee for human rights when POLITICO reported that she had broken Parliamentary rules by failing to declare a paid trip to human rights-abusing Qatar.

EU lawmaker Maria Arena had her properties raided last night.

EU lawmaker Maria Arena had her properties raided last night.

Following charges against MEPs Marc Tarabella, Andrea Cozzolino, and Eva Kaili, she is the fourth sitting MEP to be linked to the scandal. In exchange for a lighter sentence, EU lawmaker Antonio Panzeri entered into a plea agreement with the prosecution and admitted guilt – he has since been released and is currently forced to wear a tag. The other MEPs have denied all charges.

MEP Eva Kaili has admitted to using her favour to 'get rid' of crooked cash.

EU lawmaker Eva Kaili has admitted to using her favour to ‘get rid’ of crooked cash.

According to her spokesman, Roberta Metsola, president of the European Parliament, was present during the search of Arena’s property on Wednesday in Schaerbeek, north of Brussels.

“I can confirm that the president of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola was present, as per her obligations under the Belgian Constitution,” the spokesperson said, adding that Metsola ensured “the legal requirements for the request had been met.

“While the presumption of innocence of all parties is always respected, as the president has made clear on numerous occasions, the Parliament has and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement and judicial authorities in different Member States and jurisdictions, to the fullest extent possible, in an effort to ensure justice is served and the truth is known.”

MEP Antonio Panzeri was sent to prison after admitting his part in the corruption scandal.

MEP Antonio Panzeri was sent to prison after admitting his part in the corruption scandal.

“I was called today to be at my home for a visit from the investigating judge [Aurélie Dejaiffe] as part of the Qatargate investigation,” the MEP told Belgian press agency Belga, speaking via her lawyer Michèle Hirsch.

“I had also told the investigating judge that I was at her disposal. I am convinced the investigation will confirm that I am not involved in this matter. I will probably be heard in the coming weeks, after the holidays,” she added.

However, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office confirmed that six “searches” were conducted at “Arena’s home and in several places directly or indirectly linked to her or her family”, adding that “documents and ICT equipment were seized and will be analysed”.

The searches come after lead investigating judge Michel Claise resigned from the case due to a conflict of interest involving his son and Arena’s son at the end of June.

In March of this year, Henrik Hololei, the European Union’s transport chief, announced that he was stepping down as director general of the European Commission’s transport department – but, in true EU-style, had been allowed to simply move to a different department and retain his high taxpayer-funded salary.

The move means that, despite now being placed under investigation, Hololei will continue to benefit from the EU gravy train whilst not having to carry out any managerial responsibilities.


The scandal comes after POLITICO revealed that he accepted free flights on Qatar Airways.


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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Joe Scott

    July 20, 2023 at 1:38 pm

    Thieving fraudulent Scabs, every single one…

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