Qatargate: Tarabella requested that a judge recuse himself

Editorial Team

“Preventive detention used to put pressure”. He and Eva Kaili remain in prison

Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) In the morning at the Palais de Justice in Brussels, the new round of hearings for the suspects in the investigation into bribery in the EU took place. But there was no titular judge, waiting for the Court of Appeal to express itself on the objection request. The jail also confirmed for Panzeri

The lawyers of the socialist MEP Marc Tarabella have asked for the recusal of the investigating judge Michael Claise, in charge of the investigation into the bribes paid by Qatar and Morocco to influence the decisions of the European Parliament. And therefore, on Thursday morning, a substitute appeared in the hearing before the Council Chamber of the Brussels court, waiting for the Court of Appeal to express its opinion on the instance.

“Claise cannot be present today because there is a request for recusal and it means that the judge can no longer perform his function until the Court of Appeal expresses his opinion on the request or he himself decides to leave the case”, explained Sven Mary, lawyer of Eva Kaili. Maxim Toeller, Tarabella’s lawyer, instead attacked Claise: “In this investigation we have the impression that preventive detention is used to put pressure” on the suspects and “to obtain something” from those who “have recourse to the pentito statute, depriving others especially to see their children.

In the face of an investigation that reveals an attack on democracy, it is necessary to resort to the rigorous application of the law ”, he said. Attorney Toeller explains that he “advanced the recusal request because we believe that the presumption of innocence has been violated”.

Tarabella, Panzeri, and Kaili remain in prison – At the end of the new round of hearings at the Palais de Justice in Brussels, the judges extended the pre-trial detention in prison for a month for MEP Tarabella, who ended up under arrest last Saturday after being interrogated by the investigators following the revelations of the “director” of the corruption scandal, Antonio Panzeri. The statements of the former number one of the Chamber of Labor in Milan have also drawn Andrea Cozzolino, MEP of the Democratic Party, now under house arrest in Naples, into the investigation.

The former vice president of the European Parliament, Eva Kaili, also appeared before the Council Chamber, detained since 9 December in Haren prison. Greek politics is defended in the courtroom by the Greek lawyer Michalis Dimitrakopuolos, supported for the first time by the criminal lawyer Sven Mary, known for having defended the terrorist Salah Abdeslam, who in recent days has replaced the lawyer André Risopoulos.

The two defenders reiterated their request for house arrest for her, which however was denied for at least another two months. “ Eva Kaili’s detention conditions are difficult, his place is not Haren prison, he has to stay at home with his 24-month-old daughter,” Mary said. Panzeri’s prison sentence was also confirmed for two months: despite the signing of the pentito agreement, in fact, Belgian criminal law provides for a periodic review of the precautionary measures also against him.

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