The accusations that led to the Qatargate arrests remain skeptical and still unproven. One year has passed since the outbreak of the investigation that damaged the image of the European Parliament. Furthermore, the EU has not found a way to take a position. The investigation has revealed limitations and gaps, raising doubts about respect for the rights of the people involved in the case. No magistrate seems ready to deal with the Prosecutor’s Office in Brussels.
The accusation emerged after the arrests of 9 December in which Antonio Panzeri received cash bribes from Qatar and Morocco to influence the EU legislation. A lot of money was found, which indicates illegality.
According to Belgian secret services, which carried out most investigations, the illegal cash was the payment for Panzeri’s illicit activity lobbying. It was aided by Francesco Giorgi.Moreover, when the file arrived at the judiciary, it turned into corruption and money laundering. A network of MEPs was also traced.
The most shocking part of this investigation is that Kaili was arrested for a dubious flagrant offense. Before being interrogated, she was informed that her 20-month-old daughter could be entrusted to social services. She was denied seeing her daughter for months. She illegally gets four months in prison and two months under house arrest, protesting her innocence. In June, Kaili asked Parliament to take a stand denouncing the severe violation of her immunity. She is still waiting to be heard.
On the other hand, Panzeri involved the Italian-Belgian parliamentarians Maria Arena and Marc Tarabella. However, this was not enough for the police, so they wanted other names. Further, money was also discovered in Arena’s son’s house. However, she was included in investigations only after Michel Claise left the office. Surprisingly, his son was a partner of Arena’s son in a company that sold cannabis.
There is a contradiction that while Panzeri, Kaili, and Giorgi were in prison, Claise revoked the arrest warrants of the Minister of Labor of Qatar Al Marri and the Moroccan Ambassador Atmoun. Initially, they were the leading players in the investigation, so why did the judge cancel the arrest warrants? There is another side of the story that Qatar seems to have mediated the release of a Belgian arrested in Iran for espionage.
The whole development has sent shockwaves to the European Public. Yet the European Parliament has not taken any action or released any statement regarding the investigation, which raises concerns. The European Parliament and MEPs must take strict action and launch a bill to investigate this matter.