Parliamentary pensions: Public prosecutors to investigate possible collusion scheme

Parliamentary pensions: Public prosecutors to investigate possible collusion scheme
Credit: Belga / Eric Lalmand

The Federal Public Prosecutor's Office is set to go over files relating to the illegal pension bonuses paid to former parliamentarians and will investigate whether former parliamentarians and civil servants colluded in the scheme, Het Laatste Nieuws reports.

The Chamber of Representatives President Eliane Tillieux confirmed to other members of the parliamentary bureau that the case will now fall in the hands of the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office, who are in turn expected to hand the files over to Brussels' Public Prosecutor's Office.

Tillieux has asked that the Chamber of Representatives cooperate fully with the investigation, which was launched after an initial complaint was filed by the Federal Pensions Service. They brought the case to prosecutors after coming across potential collusion on the part of parliamentary officials.

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The Federal Pensions Service is attempting to recoup the €5.8 million bonus paid out to former parliamentarians on top of their pensions.

Legal experts hired by the Chamber of Representatives' parliamentary bureau found that these bonuses did not comply with Belgian law, with the Belgian Court of Audit set to launch an audit into the management of the chamber.

Among those accused of having benefited from the bonuses is Herman De Croo, father of the Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. He had been, in his view, entitled to the extra income once he retired due to his status as former president of the chamber. However, De Croo has since returned the €210,000 he had received to the parliament.

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