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Marocgate: the European Parliament is going to file a civil claim

The European Parliament, hit since December by the corruption scandal involving Morocco, is to file a civil suit, according to the Belgian daily “LeSoir”.

“The process is underway, the European Parliament intends and has initiated the relevant internal procedures to this end,” the newspaper wrote, quoting the European institution’s media service.

However, no deadline has been set for the filing of the complaint, nor has the name of the lawyer who will represent the Parliament.

Meanwhile, the Parliament suspended the parliamentary immunities of MEPs Marc Tarabella and Andrea Cozzolino to allow them to be heard by the courts.

The first one was placed under arrest on 11 February and the Belgian justice extended his pre-trial detention for one month on Friday, the second one is under house arrest in Italy pending a possible transfer to Belgium.

In December, the parliamentary immunity of the former vice-president of the European Parliament, Eva Kaili, was lifted. Her pre-trial detention was extended on Friday for two months.

At the beginning of February, the presidents of the Parliament’s various political groups adopted a first series of measures which they hope will bring more rigour and transparency to the institution’s corridors: Mandatory registration in the Transparency Register for any event with participation of interest representatives in the EP. Ban on friendship groups with third countries where official Parliamentary interlocutors already exist and that could cause confusion. Former Members and former staff will be given daily access badges. Requirement extended to all Members, assistants and other staff, who have an active role on a report or resolution to declare scheduled meetings with diplomatic representatives of third countries, and with third parties covered by the scope of the transparency register.

According to the latest confession by former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, sums of money totalling at least 180,000 euros, in addition to gifts and trips, were offered by the Makhzen regime to bribe MEPs in exchange for electoral support in the European Parliament.

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