European Parliament lifts immunity of 2 lawmakers in graft probe

Europe Materials 3 February 2023 00:28 (UTC +04:00)
European Parliament lifts immunity of 2 lawmakers in graft probe

The European Parliament (EP) on Thursday voted to waive the immunity of two lawmakers following a request from Belgian judicial authorities investigating a major corruption scandal rocking the European Union (EU) assembly, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

The EP said that its members had backed the decision to waive the immunities of Italian Member of Parliament (MEP) Andrea Cozzolino and Belgian lawmaker Marc Tarabella.

By a show of hands, MEPs endorsed the proposal adopted by the Legal Affairs Committee on Tuesday.

Once the decision is formally communicated to both MEPs and the requesting authorities, the procedure to strip the two members of their parliamentary immunity would have been completed.

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola started the procedure on Jan. 16 after receiving requests from the competent authorities in Belgium as part of an inquiry by the Belgian Federal Public Prosecutor's Office.

Cozzolino and Tarabella have denied wrongdoing and self-suspended their membership of Parliament's Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group.

Eva Kaili, who was stripped of her role as EP vice president, has already been charged over the alleged bribery scandal. Prosecutors accuse the Greek Socialist MEP of corruption, membership in a criminal organization and money laundering.