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The Belgian MEP was invited to Qatar

The Belgian MEP was invited to Qatar

Belgian MP Marc Tarabella accepted an invitation to visit Qatar. In February 2020, he took a paid trip to Qatar from the emirate and did not inform the European Parliament as required, according to what his lawyer told the Belgian channel RTL yesterday.

The socialist MEP is said to be a confidant of former Italian Member of Parliament Pier Antonio Panzeri, who was at the center of an EU corruption scandal.

Trabella denied any involvement in the case but has now admitted that he traveled to Qatar at the emirate’s expense. His lawyer said he was invited to a conference and the organizers covered the costs. An employee reminded him to disclose the trip, but the deadline had already expired.

Lawyer: “It is illegal to get money for travel”

“It is not illegal for an organization to pay for the trip,” the lawyer asserted. Trabella traveled to Qatar to visit the stadiums being built for the World Cup and to “meet the workers”.

Tarabella had highlighted the “positive development” of human rights in Qatar in the European Parliament in November – in the name of “realpolitik” and “encouragement”, his lawyer said. It is also possible, the lawyer said, that the Italian Panziri advised his friend Tarabella to “say something specific” without realizing that the Italian deputy had “invaded their friendship”.

On Wednesday, the Belgian Marie Arena admitted that she had not reported a business trip paid for by Qatar in May 2022.