A former member of the Brussels-City council, Alain Nimegeers, has been accused of offering to arrange a residency permit for a Moroccan man in return for a bribe of €3,000. Nimegeers, who sat for the conservative party MR, resigned from the council in May this year after moving house to Wallonia. The accusation dates from the time he was still serving in Brussels.
According to the man, speaking to the public broadcaster RTBF, he had been introduced to Nimegeers by an acquaintance who himself had obtained a social apartment on payment of a back-hander of €2,000.
The man, identified only by the pseudonym Samir, paid over €2,750 days later, and was assured the process would be taken care of. To date, he has seen no result at all. For the TV station, he played a recording of a telephone conversation in which Nimegeers appears to confirm the arrangement.
Nimegeers now confirms he met Samir, but denies offering any services for cash. All he did, he told the RTBF, was assure Samir he would pass his case on to asylum and migration minister Theo Francken, without further promises.
He now claims Samir was trying to trap him, as part of a conspiracy related to the coming election campaign.
Meanwhile MR, represented by Alain Courtois, councillor in Brussels and lead figure on the party’s election list in the city, said legal steps would be taken if evidence of fraudulent practices came to light.