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Belgian MEP’s home raided in Qatar graft probe

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Belgian police searched the home of socialist MEP Marc Tarabella on Saturday night in connection to the Qatar corruption scandal that has rocked the European Parliament.

The raid at Tarabella’s residence came after European Parliament Vice President Eva Kaili was arrested on Friday in connection with the probe into alleged illicit lobbying activities by Qatari officials. Kaili was suspended from her role as vice president on Saturday. She was charged with corruption on Sunday, Belgian media reported.

Belgian S&D lawmaker Tarabella is vice chair of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula and co-chair of the institution’s sports group.

“I have absolutely nothing to hide and I will answer all the questions of the investigators, that goes without saying, if that can help them to shed light on this affair,” Tarabella said in a statement to POLITICO. “The justice system is going through its process of information-gathering and investigating, which I find completely appropriate.”

Investigators seized computer equipment during the search of Tarabella’s home, Belgian outlet Le Soir reported.

Tarabella was not arrested.

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola was present during the search, in line with Belgian law, her spokesperson confirmed on Sunday.

Last month, Tarabella told POLITICO that he was “convinced” that Qatar has become “a good example to follow for the other countries in the neighborhood” thanks to hosting the World Cup, which is ongoing in the Gulf country.  

Metsola’s spokesperson added that the Parliament and its president stand “firmly against corruption, are actively and fully cooperating with law enforcement and judicial authorities to assist the course of justice.”

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