Socialist MEP, Marie Arena, quits the presidency of Human Rights subcommittee – Qatargate


The Belgian Socialist MEP, Marie Arena, has submitted her resignation today from the presidency of the subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament, which is allegedly related to the Qatar and Morocco corruption scandal. Marie Arena, as reported by Politico , claims that she is not involved in the scandal and that she has been the victim of political attacks by the media.

The chairman of the subcommittee has effectively already retired from her duties since the beginning of December, after the revelations about the scandal.

The resignation comes hours after Politicopublished an in-depth investigation into the commission, revealing that Arena had misreported the free flights and accommodations he received from Qatar. European Parliament President Roberta Metzola has been informed of Arena’s decision, an EU official said.

In a statement sent to Belgian news agency Belga and seen by Politico, Arena said she was resigning to protect her image and the work of the European Parliament’s human rights committee, known by its EU acronym DROI.

Earlier Wednesday, Politico reported that Arena was accusing her secretary of failing to declare a paid trip to Qatar in May 2022.

It is noted that on her trip to Qatar, Arena participated in a human rights conference held by the Qatar National Human Rights Commission, entitled “The European Union and Human Rights”. The conference was attended by Qatargate accused and remanded in custody Nikolo Figa Talamanga, whose travel and accommodation was also provided free of charge by Qatar.

The subcommittee is at the center of allegations of corruption and money laundering. Three of the four suspects held on preliminary charges have connections to the MEPs’ committee. Arena is not one of the suspects and insisted again on Wednesday that it was in no way involved in the scandal engulfing Brussels.

“In light of the political and media attacks over the past few weeks, which have damaged not only my image, but all the work done at the heart of the DROI subcommittee, I have decided to step down as chairman,” she wrote. chairman. She also added that neither her office nor her home had been raided by police and that the Belgian authorities had not requested the lifting of her parliamentary immunity , a necessary step before a criminal investigation.

The committee that Arena has led since 2019 has ties to several of the people facing preliminary charges in the Belgian criminal investigation, including Pier Antonio Panzeri, the Italian former MEP who led the committee before her. Belgian police raided several offices of current parliamentary officials linked to the commission as part of its investigation.


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