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HomeBelgiaQatargate: Belgian justice renounces to extradite two suspects from Italy

Qatargate: Belgian justice renounces to extradite two suspects from Italy

Belgium has told Italy that it is waiving the European arrest warrant procedure to be handed over two Italian suspects in the investigation into the Qatargate scandal, a source familiar with the matter told AFP on Friday.

They are Maria Dolores Colleoni and Silvia Panzeri, respectively wife and daughter of the former Italian MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, 67, who has undertaken to collaborate with the justice system in this investigation following an agreement concluded on January 17 with the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office.

Alongside the series of arrests in Brussels, both were arrested in December in Italy as part of investigations into an alleged corruption scheme within the European Parliament involving Qatar and Morocco.

They first challenged their extradition before the Italian courts, but are now ready to be heard in Belgium, according to the same source. “It has been notified to the Italian authorities that the European arrest warrant is no longer necessary, insofar as they have undertaken to go to Belgium if the Belgian justice wishes to hear them”, declared this source.

This week, the Belgian investigating judge in charge of the investigation, Michel Claise, traveled to Italy accompanied by a magistrate from the federal prosecution. The mission aimed to “settle a number of details on what Belgian justice expects and what Italian justice can offer”, a spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office told AFP on Wednesday.

According to the source close to the case, the lifting of the arrest warrant signifying the end of their house arrest in Italy must be validated by a decision of the Italian justice.

Source : rtbf.be



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