Money from Qatar and Morocco is said to have flowed into the EU Parliament via the NGO of former MEP Antonio Panzeri in order to influence decisions there. Now the arrested Panzeri has apparently cooperated with the investigators and named some accomplices from the EU Parliament.

The traces of the EU corruption scandal lead to him: Antonio Panzeri, a former Italian MEP. His NGO is said to have tried to influence decisions in the EU Parliament on behalf of the governments of Qatar and Morocco.

Panzeri, who is considered the mastermind behind the so-called “Qatar Gate”, has been in custody in Belgium since December 9 – together with the arrested parliamentary deputy Eva Kaili (“It’s true. I knew about Mr. Panzeri’s activities.”) and her All three are said to have been involved in illegal barter transactions with Qatar.

Panzeri should now cooperate with the investigators, reports “La Repubblica”.

According to the report, in order to get away with a lighter sentence, he is said to have named a large number of EU parliamentarians who were also involved in the corruption scandal. According to La Repubblica, these include:

For months, the Belgian judiciary has been investigating suspected corruption, money laundering and influence from the Gulf Emirate of Qatar in the vicinity of the EU Parliament. Italian union official Luca Visentini, who was targeted in the investigation, recently admitted receiving a “cash donation” of “less than 50,000 euros” from Panzeri’s NGO Fight Impunity. “We look like the ones in Ocean’s Eleven,” Panzeri is said to have joked when he handed him the money. No conditions are said to have been attached to the money donation, but Visentini defended himself. They are said to have solely covered part of the cost of his campaign at the International Congress of Trade Unions in Australia.

Panzeri founded the NGO Fight Impunity in 2019, which is accused of accepting cash donations from Qatar and Morocco to influence parliamentary decisions. Panzeri had always answered questions about the financing of his NGOs by referring to “private donors”. While in custody, he is said to have said that agreements with Qatar and Morocco only came into effect in 2019, the report says. According to the Italian newspaper, the public prosecutor wanted to convince him that he had not taken any money from abroad during his time as an MP.

But other names could also be on the list of investigators. The board of the NGO includes former EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and France’s former prime minister Bernard Cazeneuve. “You have to be perverted to do something like that with an NGO,” said Cazerneuve after the allegations were announced and handed in his resignation.

Panzeri’s wife and daughter were also arrested in Italy. The Italian judiciary approved the extradition of Panzeri’s wife to Belgium on Monday. According to the Ansa news agency, the defenders of the 67-year-old want to appeal the decision. Panzeri is said to have said: “The sum in my house was not available to others.” In Panzeri’s Belgian apartments, investigators found 600,000 euros in cash, divided into seven packages in a suitcase, according to an investigation report. 100,000 euros are said to have been missing. According to investigators, the money was found in Eva Kaili’s father’s hotel room.