Belgian police arrest MEP Marc Tarabella – politician

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Belgian authorities arrested Socialist MEP Marc Tarabella on Friday in an investigation into alleged corruption in the European Parliament.

A spokesman for the Belgian prosecutor confirmed the arrests following an earlier report by Flemish broadcaster VRT.

The European Parliament waived immunity for both Tarabella and fellow MEP Andrea Cozzolino in a plenary session last Thursday, paving the way for Belgian investigators to question them. Three other suspects remain in custody.

Prosecutors did not comment on what charges Tarabella may face or whether any police action is pending against Italian Cozzolino.

According to the parliamentary report, violations of Belgian law by Tarabella and Cozzolino may include corruption, participation in criminal organizations and money laundering.

Late last week, a Belgian investigating judge released from prison one of the four key detainees in the case, Nicolo Figa-Talamanca – secretary-general of No Peace Without Justice, a non-governmental organization linked to the corruption scandal.

The other three suspects, former European Parliament Vice President Eva Kylie, her partner Francesco Giorgi and former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, are still in prison. Panzeri took a plea deal to cooperate with investigators.

Both Tarabella and Cozzolino deny any wrongdoing.

Barbara Moen contributed reporting.