New data in the Qatargate scandal comes to the surface through the decision of the alleged mastermind, Antonio Panzeri, to cooperate with the Belgian authorities by giving detailed names and addresses of all those involved, in exchange for more favorable judicial treatment.
And while the former MEP is said to have already confessed to the financing of the Belgian MEP Tarabela with 140,000 euros, the circle of those involved is expanding since Panzeri’s accountant, who allegedly participated in the laundering of large sums of money, was also arrested in Milan today.
The day of judgment for Eva Kaili
All this, while today is the big day for Eva Kaili, who is expected to appear before the pre-trial council, which will decide whether Eva Kaili will be temporarily released under restrictive conditions or will remain in custody.
In more detail, according to the information, Eva Kaili will remain in the same defensive line. That is, he is expected to argue that he knew nothing about the suitcase and the money and that he has nothing to do with the corruption ring. It now remains to be seen whether the prosecution will be affected by Panzeri’s cooperation with the Belgian authorities and what he has already said.
According to the same sources, the “climate” is already negative for her. However, both her lawyers will be with her in the courtroom tomorrow.
The former vice-president of the European Parliament completes 40 days in the prisons of Haren and her father and child have visited her.
Panzeri “rats on” Tarabella: “I was giving him money”
With the memorandum of cooperation with the Belgian prosecutor’s office signed by the alleged mastermind of Qatargate, Antonio Panzeri has commited to testifying about everything he knows concerning the bribery network that was set up in the heart of the European Parliament
“Mr. Panzeri is involved, he does not deny it. This man is destroyed. He must confess to everything he knows about those involved, the organization that was created and the financial network that developed,” said his lawyer.
“I gave the money to Tarabella in different places. The money was in paper bags. It all started two years ago. The contact was mainly made by me and sometimes by Georgie. Each time we gave him 20,000 euros,” said Mr. Panzeri.
“Panzeri is ready to tell the whole truth”
Antonio Panzeri’s Belgian lawyer, Marc Utendaal, speaking to the Italian news agency Ansa, referred to his client’s decision to sign a Memorandum of Cooperation with Brussels prosecutors.
“Antonio Panzeri is ready to tell the whole truth and contribute to the effectiveness of the investigations. He signed the cooperation agreement with the Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office in a state of real psychological shock,” said the lawyer of the Italian former MEP.
“He is available to investigators throughout the day and night to answer their questions. He hopes nothing painful happens to his wife and daughter,” Utedal said.
He added, finally, that “Panzeri’s next interrogations are expected to take place in the coming days, in secret meetings” and that “in addition to the fact that his sentence will be reduced to one year in prison, he achieved what he wanted, not to hide anything in this case”.
The circle of arrests is expanding
Panzeri’s accountant, Monica Rosanna Bellini was arrested on Tuesday night and taken to Milan’s Salvatore prison. It is believed that she was a member of the network that laundered money coming from Morocco and Qatar and for days the economic police of Italy carried out an investigation at her offices and it is expected to be decided whether the request of the Belgian authorities for her extradition to Brussels will be accepted. She is accused of criminal activity, corruption and money laundering.
According to Il Fatto Quotidiano newspaper, one of the companies allegedly used for this purpose is Equality Consultancy, which was founded in December 2018, with Francesco Giorgi’s brother and father as the main shareholders. It is a company whose main object, based on its statutes, was the development of relations between NGOs, businesses and “interlocutors in third countries”. During the same period, another company with similar goals was allegedly created, again by Bellini and the Giorgi family, in Estonia.
What Panzeri testifies before the Belgian prosecutor Michel Clees is expected to play a decisive role in the decision of the pre-trial council, which tomorrow will decide whether Eva Kaili will be temporarily released with restrictive conditions or will remain in custody.