Italian Former MEP’s Lawyer Confirms Cooperation With Belgian Justice

Editorial Team

“My client regrets that with his behavior, he damaged the left, his political faction,” said Laurent Ken, Antonio Panzeri’s lawyer, to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

“In the beginning he had been in contact with the Qatari left, which is far to the right by our standards, but has shown a minimal interest in workers’ rights, contributing from 2017 to 2019 to improve the situation. A relationship which was compatible with Pancheri’s ideas, which he, however, completely betrayed from the moment he took the money”, added the lawyer.

He explained that “his client started thinking about the possibility of cooperating with Belgian justice just before Christmas”, since “he is 68 years old and the trial is going to start, probably, when he will be 72. He wants to end this case as quickly as possible,” said Laurent Ken.

In a related question from Corriere, he answers: “Pantseri is accused of being corrupt because before 2019 he was a member of the European Parliament and of being corrupt because he is considered the leader of a criminal organization with the object of corruption.” His defense attorney confirms that his client’s plea deal calls for a sentence of five years in prison, of which he will serve only one in a correctional facility, which he considers “an average sentence,” given the circumstances of the case.

With reference to Eva Caili’s testimony, which Corriere recalls, and the statement “the bag found at her house was Panzeri’s”, the lawyer of the Italian former MEP emphasized: “Caili is trying to defend herself. Pancheri will speak, he will tell the truth. The agreement with the prosecution provides for a preliminary statement, but he will not be the accuser of the others.”

Commenting on his statement that “Pantseri is not the mastermind of the organization,” his defense attorney explained:

“He is one of the leaders of a non-pyramid organization with a big mafia-style leader. There are individuals of Qatar and Morocco, who recommend corruption to other individuals. Pancheri is only the intermediary. He doesn’t speak French or English, only Italian. It is therefore difficult for him to be the leader and discuss with Qatar and Morocco.”

As the lawyer of the Italian former MEP stated, the cooperation agreement does not concern his daughter and his wife, but “he hopes for a better treatment for them as well”.

Finally, in relation to Pancheri’s detention conditions, Laurent Kee underlined:

“He is being held in Saint Gilles, one of the two worst prisons in Belgium. Many judges recognized that in this penitentiary, the conditions do not respect human dignity. My client is in the same situation as the other prisoners.”

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