The European Parliament begins the process to withdraw the immunity of two MEPs

The European Parliament begins the process to withdraw the immunity of two MEPs

The European Parliament has initiated the formal procedure to lift the immunity of two MEPs suspected of irregularities in the corruption scandal affecting the institution, the Belgian Marc Tarabella and the Italian Andrea Cozzolino. The start of the process, which has been announced by the president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, has been requested by the Belgian police.

Cozzolino was, until Friday, president of the Parliament delegation that works with the African region of the Maghreb. It includes Morocco, one of the countries that has allegedly offered cash to politicians to influence decision-making in the EU.

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He was also part of the commission investigating the use of the Pegasus spyware by third countries… something that worries many MEPs. “We have an idea of what has happened and some members are part of the commission of investigation on spyware such as Pegasus. And, of course, there is the issue related to Morocco, because Morocco is suspected of using the Pegasus software against the EU, against President Macron and also against the President of Spain. Knowing that some MEPs are part of it, they could be suspected of having defended their particular interests and also Moroccan ones. That is the question,” said MEP Saskia Bricmont from The Greens.

The second Socialist MEP, Marc Tarabella, until now vice-president of the delegation in charge of relations with the Arabian Peninsula, including Qatar, denies, like Cozzolino, any involvement. Although it has just been learned that he did not declare a trip paid for by Qatar that he made in 2020, something that violates the rules of the European Parliament.

The Legal Affairs committee will now give the two MEPs the opportunity to present their arguments, before the matter is voted on in plenary around February. Their immunity is expected to be lifted. The Belgian authorities will then be able to question the two suspects and bring charges against them.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.