Fear in Brussels. The former politician will reveal the details of the scandal in exchange for a lesser sentence
Panzeri will inform investigators of key details of an ongoing investigation into whether other countries, including Qatar, have illegally influenced the work of the European Parliament, according to a statement from the Belgian prosecutor’s office. The former politician will provide information on the financial arrangements, countries involved, beneficiaries and people involved.
Significantly, Panzeri also agreed to reveal whom he had bribed, the prosecutor’s office said.
In return for Italy’s cooperation, he will receive a lesser sentence, including a prison sentence, a fine and the confiscation of property he acquired illegally, estimated at €1 million.
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This is only the second time that Belgium has invoked the use of the so-called repentant status since the creation of this institution in 2018. It is about a person who provides important information about the perpetrators or accomplices of a crime in exchange for leniency.
Earlier on Tuesday, it became clear that Panzeri would remain in prison after failing to appear at the court hearing his appeal in his pre-trial detention case. The former politician decided to withdraw his complaint.
In December last year Panzeri faces preliminary charges of involvement in a criminal organization, money laundering and corruption. The arrest was first confirmed by the court on December 14. A hearing on the complaint was initially scheduled for December 27, but was postponed at the request of the suspect.
In addition, an Italian court ruled on Monday that the daughter of the former MEP, Silvia Panzeri, may be extradited to Belgium. The country’s authorities believe that she was aware of her father’s alleged illegal activities. The woman denies the accusations, according to her lawyer.
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