Italy agrees to hand over Panzeri woman in EU corruption scandal
An Italian court has approved the handing over to Belgium of the wife of former MEP Antonio Panzeri. He is one of the main actors in the corruption scandal in the European Parliament.
The investigation into this scandal focuses on whether “a country in the Arabian Peninsula” bribed members of the European Parliament. It is generally assumed to be Qatar. Last week wrote Belgian newspapers De Morgen and De Standaard that Morocco was also involved in possible bribes of parliamentarians.
Panzeri is considered the pivot in the fraud case. The money would have come to him, after which he shared it. Panzeri is stuck in Belgium.
According to prosecutors, wiretaps show that his wife Maria Colleoni and his daughter Silvia Panzeri played an active role in corruption. They would have known about it and would have participated in the transport of the “gifts”.
His daughter’s trial tomorrow
At the request of the Belgian authorities, the two men were arrested in Italy on suspicion of involvement in a criminal organization, corruption and money laundering. Since then, they have been under house arrest. The girl’s case will be heard separately tomorrow.
Despite the Brescia court ruling that Panzeri’s wife could be handed over, that is unlikely to happen soon. His lawyers said they were considering appealing to Italy’s highest court.
In the corruption investigation, which has been ongoing since early July, six suspects were arrested earlier this month. Among them was Eva Kaili, one of the vice-presidents of the European Parliament. She is suspected of corruption by Qatar and Morocco, but also of fraud with the remuneration of her staff.
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