Former MEP Agrees to Plea Deal to Expose EU Corruption Network Involving Qatar and Morocco

Antonio panzeri has agreed to a plea deal to become an informant in a criminal network involved in an eu corruption scandal. the scandal involves former mep, luca panzeri, along with eva kaili, francesco giorgi, and niccolã figã talamanca. mario panzeri has entered into a plea deal with prosecutors in italy, in which he has agreed to provide information about the network in exchange for reduced charges. qatar and morocco have both denied allegations that they sought influence through bribery.

Scandal came to light last month, when police seized around €1.5m (â£1.3m) in cash during a series of raids. this prompted belgian prosecutors to request that the immunity of two centre-left meps – marc tarabella of belgium and andrea cozzolino of italy – be lifted. last month, italian mep, francesco giorgi, was reported to have confessed to his role in the affair.

To the prosecutor, mr panzeri agreed to a plea bargain and will face a year in jail, a fine, and the confiscation of €1m in assets. he is to give details of how the network operated, its financial arrangements with the countries concerned, and “the involvement of known and unknown persons within the investigation, including the identity of the persons he admits to having bribed”. it is believed that the network was taking bribes from qatar in order to influence eu policy-making. those charged have denied any involvement in the affair.

By Evey Lovelace

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