According to the news in the Italian press, the hearing of Belgian prosecutors’ extradition request for Cozzolino, who was detained in a clinic in Naples on February 10, regarding the allegation that he tried to influence EU affairs through bribery received from foreign states, was postponed to April 11.
While it was stated that the request for adjournment came from Cozzolino’s lawyers Federico Conte and Dezio Ferraro, with today’s decision, the court postponed the hearing for the third time.
Italian parliamentarian Cozzolino, who has been under house arrest in Italy since February 11, denies the charges against him.
Cozzolino’s lawyers had said in the previous hearing that the words of former EP deputy Italian Antonio Panzeri, who was detained in the corruption investigation and later confessed, were fabrications.
As part of the corruption, bribery and money laundering investigation carried out by the Belgian authorities, searches were made at many points in December 2022, 1.5 million euros in cash were seized and 4 people were detained.
It was announced that the detainees were Greek MP Eva Kaili, whose EP Vice President was terminated, former Italian EP Deputy Pier Antonio Panzeri, Kaili’s boyfriend Francesco Giorgi, who worked as an assistant in the EP, and Niccolo Figa-Talamanca, the director of the non-governmental organization working on the rule of law. . Figa-Talamanca was later released.
It was alleged that Giorgi said in his statement that two MEPs Andrea Cozzolino and Marc Tarabella received money from Panzeri. EP President Roberta Metsola initiated the process to lift the immunity of Cozzolino and Tarabella.
It was alleged that these people took bribes from a Gulf country to influence the economic and political decisions of the EP. Qatar, which was mentioned in the news on the subject, denied the allegations.
In later news, it was claimed that Morocco also bribed these people, and it was claimed that Moroccan intelligence and Morocco’s Ambassador to Warsaw, Abderrahim Atmoun, met with the suspects.