The scam also follows the bribes, with 170 thousand euros seized from Lega MEP Stefania Zambelli
Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Antonio Panzeri, like a flooded river, continues to provide names and information to the prosecutor Michel Claise who has been investigating the case that has rocked the European Parliament for some time. Now, in the list of names provided by Panzeri – the newspaper ” La Repubblica ” announced – there would also be that of the former Forza Italia MEP, Lara Comi. ” There was a meeting in Doha, in the spring of 2019, with Minister Al Marri, Francesco Giorgi, the Algerian (Boudjellal, ed ) and I (Panzeri, ed ), Andrea Cozzolino, Lara Comi. I think Eva Kaili was present, but the decision made, in terms of money for the deputies, also included her – Panzeri pointed out -. In the end, the Qataris decided to make 250,000 euros each available for the three electoral campaigns. And it was done. ” – he continues – ” It is important to deny the idea that I am the big boss – Panzeri pointed out -.
These people accepted money in exchange for protecting Qatar’s interests as part of their parliamentary work. It was established that Giorgi would assume the role of Cozzolino’s assistant. The money arrived at his house, one million and 250 thousand euros in cash. There were also 250 thousand euros for me and for him “.
Antonio Panzeri also told of the time Comi called him to ask him to look after a bag that was in his apartment in Brussels.
” In 2019 Comi called me asking for a favor if I could collect a bag from his apartment in Brussels and put it aside ”. The Comi bag was allegedly taken into the custody of Panzeri’s assistant, Giuseppe Meroni and, following the arrest of Lara Comi in the ” Mensa dei Povera ” investigation, Antonio Panzeri allegedly went to Meroni to open the bag and check its contents. Following the situation, I went to Meroni and we opened the bag. I saw clothes and empty books inside, with cash between 60 and 70 thousand euros, I didn’t count them. So I took it all and decided to throw the money away in the trash. Meroni saw the money but didn’t take anything . ” Panzeri went on to tell that he phoned Lara Comi to inform her of the decision I had made once I opened the purse. “ I just told her that the money was gone. On the purse – continued Panzeri -, I told her that the case is closed and she didn’t ask me for anything else. I don’t know where the money in this bag comes from “.
Among the names also that of Susanna Camusso
Panzeri also recounted alleged funding from Qatar for Susanna Camusso ‘s campaign as president of the 2018 Global Union of Trade Unions . was the Italian candidate. I said that I knew Camusso because we had been in the same union. They tell me that they would have gladly met her and helped her. I spoke to her in Milan – Panzeri recalled – and she told me she was available for this meeting, which was held a few weeks later. Specifying that it was not a question of money but of aid to African trade unions and the Middle East, Panzeri continued. “Previously, we had identified a figure of 600,000 euros (…) which was given to me by the Algerian in a bag and is a good part of the money found in my house. Then I learned that only 50 thousand was enough. I, therefore, had 500 thousand left which I kept ”.
Panzeri’s statements were also followed by those of Susanna Camusso who specified: “ I was not asked to support Qatar in any way, nor was there ever any talk of money. I know that some donations have been received from other unions for poorer organizations. I wasn’t directly involved and I don’t know the details .”
Not just bribes
Unfortunately, there is also an alleged fraud by the Northern League in the Qatargate case Stefania Zambelli, is currently under investigation by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) in Milan because, according to prosecutors, she used European Parliament funds to pay the salary of ” four staff members ” for activities that were never carried out, or only partially carried out. Following the accusation that invested Zambelli and four of her assistants, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Guardia di Finanza carried out a seizure of over 170 thousand euros against the Brescia MEP.
” According to the evidence – communicated by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office- the four members of staff did not carry out the activities related to the function for which they were recruited, or they carried them out only partially, falsely documenting their activity to the European Parliament. Furthermore, they misrepresented their educational qualifications, having declared academic and professional skills which, according to the investigation, they did not possess. It is believed that the MEP, closely linked to at least one of the people hired, also benefited from the sums paid by the European Parliament for the work activities that the staff was supposed to carry out “.
The partner of the MEP’s daughter would also be under investigation in the same investigation: the ultra of AC Milan Marco Pacini On the case, the newspaper ” Europa Today”, reported the note released by Stefania Zambelli to reject all the accusations that have been made against her. “ In relation to the facts which led to the execution of the preventive seizure against me, I would like to specify that neither I nor my collaborators have committed any offense.
Our work has always been based on maximum loyalty and transparency towards the institutions and the community – specified Zambelli -. I would like to underline that the parliamentary assistant who gave rise to this proceeding with your complaint is the same person who had already denounced me to the European Parliament in 2019, with the same arguments. In that circumstance – continued Stefania Zambelli-, for the same facts, at the end of the trial, this assistant was dismissed for just cause, according to the indications received from the same officials of the European Parliament, while no provision was issued against me. I am at the complete disposal of the judicial authorities for any clarification”.
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