European Union corruption scandal
Morocco may have stained more intensely than Qatar

Until now, Qatar has been the focus of attention in the European Parliament’s corruption scandal. A media report suggests that Morocco may have had more influence than the Gulf state.

According to a media report, Morocco played a larger role than previously known in the bribery and corruption scandal in the European Parliament. According to SPIEGEL reports regarding secret investigation documents, the Moroccan foreign intelligence service DGED was also involved at the highest levels in influencing members of the European Parliament.

Accordingly, the Directorate-General for Economic Development is said to have recruited two Italian MEPs Pier Antonio Panzieri and Andrea Cozzolino as well as Francesco Giorgi in 2019. The latter is a parliamentary functionary and partner of the ousted Vice-President of the European Parliament, Eva Kaili. The aim was to influence the Social Democratic group in the European Parliament.

According to “SPIEGEL”, Abd al-Rahim Atmoun, the current ambassador of Morocco to Poland, was responsible for leading the trio. He is said to have handed them envelopes full of cash. In addition, the three Italians were said to have been in direct contact with the Director General of Intelligence, Muhammad Yassin al-Mansouri. The news magazine quoted Belgian government departments as saying that Morocco has recently become involved in issues such as fishing rights and Western Sahara. The country has occupied large parts of Western Sahara for decades and denied independence to the Sahrawis who live there.

cash from Morocco

According to “SPIEGEL”, Panziri’s arrest warrant also contains new details about the role of Qatar, which has been at the center of the scandal so far. Accordingly, the Qatari Minister of Labor Ali bin Samih al-Marri, with the help of an assistant, is said to have established the link with Panziri, Georgi and the head of the NGO “No Peace Without Justice”, Niccolò Vega. -talamanca. However, it is said that payment was not made in cash, as in Morocco, but by bank transfer or in the form of valuable gifts. Qatar denies any wrongdoing.

Panziri, Kylie and Georgie are currently in custody. They are accused of “criminal organization, corruption and money laundering”. After the first raids and arrests in Brussels, the press releases of the Belgian Public Prosecutor’s Office initially spoke only of a “Gulf state”. Until then, Morocco was also the focus of investigations. Subsequent findings suggest that Morocco has attempted “for a longer period and more intensively than Qatar” to corrupt members of the European Parliament, according to SPIEGEL.

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