Italy releases wife and daughter of main defendant in European Parliament bribery plot

Archive – Former Socialist MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri during a plenary session – PARLAMENTO EUROPEO

The Italian judiciary has ordered the release of the wife and daughter of former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, the main defendant in Belgium in the alleged bribery scheme paid by Qatar, after the Belgian authorities gave up on prosecuting the family of the Italian socialist.

The Brescia appeals court has «taken note» of the Belgian investigation, «which waives the surrender procedure», and has therefore decided to revoke the precautionary measure of house arrest that had been issued against the two women, according to a statement picked up by the AdnKronos agency.

Both had been arrested on December 9 on the basis of a European arrest warrant that questioned their possible connection with the crimes attributed to Panzeri, accused of being the leader of a criminal organization and of being involved in money laundering and active and passive public corruption.

The Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office announced on January 17 an agreement with Panzeri whereby he would see his sentence reduced in exchange for providing details on the modus operandi, the countries involved and the names of those who succumbed to the alleged corrupt practices.