Qatargate: Pier-Antonio Panzeri also defended Mukhtar Ablyazov

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The “Qatargate” scandal is only in its infancy. But it could go far beyond the case of the small Gulf emirate. L-POST.be was able to reveal, exclusively, that Pier-Antonio Panzeri, the former MEP at the center of the corrupt group was also a diligent lawyer for a former Kazakh oligarch, Muktar Ablyazov, who has just been rejected his status as an asylum seeker in France, the National Court for the Right of Asylum (CNDA) having established that he was not a real political refugee, but that he was not seeking this status to protect himself from lawsuits for a diversion of several billion dollar.

For the European Parliament, this is a real earthquake. On one Friday afternoon, after the wave of searches and the arrests made to uncover a corrupt network linked to Qatar, the police intercepted a man in a hurry at the exit of the Sofitel hotel from Place Jourdan, a stone’s throw from the building of the European Assembly. 

In his suitcases, the investigators discovered around 600,000 euros. And the man was not just anyone: he is the father of a vice-president of the European Parliament, the Greek socialist Eva Kaili, whose companion had been arrested a few hours earlier. The investigating judge Michel Claise decided, in the process, to search the Brussels home of Ms. Kaili. Because of the seizure made in the luggage of his father, the operation could be carried out in flagrante delicto, the immunity of the parliamentarian no longer comes into play. 

In the apartment occupied by Ms. Kaili, 150,000 euros were seized. All in small denominations. These amounts were in addition to the approximately 600,000 euros seized on the same morning at the former parliamentarian (Italian socialist) Pier-Antonio Panzeri. In all therefore, the amount seized was at least 1,350,000 euros. 

“In general, seizures of this order, we only make in cases of organized crime, and, most often, drug trafficking”, said the specialized investigator in his report. “These are not only honest sums citizens keep under their mattress. ”