European Parliament scandal: Cozzolino extradition postponed yet again

European Parliament scandal: Cozzolino extradition postponed yet again
Credit: Belga

For the fourth time, a Naples court has postponed its decision on the extradition of Italian MEP Andrea Cozzolino (S&D) to Belgium in connection with the Qatargate corruption scandal, the Italian news agency ANSA reported on Tuesday. The next hearing will be held on Tuesday, 2 May.

The Neapolitan judge accepted requests filed by the suspect’s lawyers who are asking for more information about the basis of the allegations made by Belgian prosecutors.

Cozzolino’s defence team are also demanding to know more about their client’s planned detention conditions. The MEP says he suffers from a heart condition. Last month, his lawyers submitted a medical report to the courts which argued that the state of Belgian prisons could endanger their client’s health.

Cozzolino, 60, has already been under house arrest for two months. He is primarily suspected of receiving money from Qatar and Morocco in exchange for his support for pro-Qatari and pro-Moroccan legislation. The politician denies the allegations.

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Two of Cozzolino’s former associates, former Italian MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri (S&D) and his parliamentary assistant Francesco Giorgi, have already confessed to their involvement in Qatargate.

Greek MEP Eva Kaili (S&D) and Belgian MEP Marc Tarabella (S&D) are also under investigation in connection with the scandal.

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