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Belgian graft investigators search EU parliament offices

Belgian graft investigators search EU parliament offices: prosecutor
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Belgian investigators on Monday searched offices of the European Parliament as part of a probe into alleged corruption that has seen a vice president arrested, prosecutors said.

Belgium’s federal prosecutor’s office said the purpose of the search at the premises in Brussels was to seize computer data from 10 parliamentary staff.

The latest search is the 20th to have been carried out in Belgium since Friday into alleged bribery by World Cup host Qatar to burnish its image at the parliament.

A European Parliament vice president, Eva Kaili, was among four suspects arrested and charged with corruption by Belgian prosecutors.

Belgian prosecutors said that during the searches 600,000 euros ($630,000) was found at the home of one suspect, 150,000 euros at the flat of an MEP and several hundred thousand euros in a suitcase in a hotel room.

Greek socialist Kaili and the other suspects that have been charged will appear at a pre-trial chamber in Brussels on Wednesday, prosecutors said.

European Parliament members are usually covered by immunity prosecution, but that is not the case if a suspect is caught red-handed.

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AFP

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French state-owned international news agency based in Paris. It is the world's oldest news agency, having been founded in 1835 as Havas.




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