Home Brussels Qatargate: Italy again delays handing over MEP to Belgium

Qatargate: Italy again delays handing over MEP to Belgium

by editor

For the fourth time, Italian judges on Tuesday put off a decision on whether to extradite MEP Andrea Cozzolino to Belgium, his lawyers confirmed to POLITICO. Cozzolino is a key suspect in the European Parliament’s alleged corruption scandal, known as Qatargate.

Once again, the court in Naples called on Belgian prosecutors to send evidence on the state of prisons and provide more details on the arrest warrant they issued in February. The next hearing in Italy is slated for May 2.

The Belgian authorities have not sent any supporting documents since the previous hearing was held on March 14, Cozzolino’s lawyer Vincenzo Domenico Ferraro told POLITICO.

Cozzolino’s defense team argued that the move to a Belgian prison would endanger their client’s health, as he suffers from a heart condition.  

The Italian MEP — who attended Tuesday’s court hearing — is currently under house arrest in Naples and has not yet been interrogated by judges.

Cozzolino is accused of accepting bribes from Morocco in exchange for favoring the country’s interests in the European Parliament; he denies any wrongdoing.

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