Brussels, Feb 2 (EFE).- The European Parliament on Thursday voted to lift immunity for two MEPs who are suspected of being involved in the so-called ‘Qatargate’ corruption scandal that has rocked Brussels.
Lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favor of stripping the protection afforded to Belgian Marc Tarabella and Italian Andrea Cozzolino at the behest of Belgian authorities investigating claims that a number of officials had lobbied on behalf of Qatar and Morocco in return for bribes.
Tarabella, present at Thursday’s session, voted to lift his own immunity.
The Parliament’s detained former vice-president Eva Kaili, a key suspect in the scandal who has been charged with corruption and money laundering, was not afforded immunity.
Former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, the alleged ringleader of the corruption scheme, has struck a plea deal with Belgian authorities in order to reduce his sentence.
Kail’s life partner, former parliamentary worker Francesco Giorgi, has also been implicated in the scheme.
Authorities leading the case have seized some 1.5 million euros, telephones and computers in the investigation. EFE