A new blur for a case that started as an unprecedented political scandal and is on its way to becoming a legal scandal. The Belgian magistrate in charge of the Qatargate, Michel ClaiseHe has submitted his resignation today.. Claise, one of the most well-known and feared togados in the country, has had to step aside after the request for recusal by the defense lawyer of one of the main defendants, the Belgian MEP Marc Tarabella. The reason, incredible, is that a possible conflict of interest, since today it has been known that one of the sons of the judge, Nicolas, has owned 50% of a legal cannabis sales company since 2018 together with Ugo Lemaire, Jr. in turn from the also Belgian Socialist MEP Maria Arena. That she is not accused, has not been questioned and whose immunity has not been requested to be lifted, but that she appears in the proceedings from day one, being a friend, confidant or even ex-partner of some of the main suspects .
That link has uncovered it Maxim Töllerresponsible for the defense of Tarabella, who for months has denounced the Class decisions, starting with preventing a confrontation between the alleged leader of the corruption plot within the European Parliament, the former deputy Antonio Panzeri, and your client. Panzeri, who has accepted the mafia’s repentant law and has reached an agreement to reduce his sentence, accepting his guilt, has always exonerated Arena. just like she did Francesco Giorgithe partner of the deputy Eva Kaili and in turn former assistant to his compatriot Panzeri. But his name appeared in the reports of the national security services that gave rise to the case, for possible gifts received and very clear links to the plot that accepted bribes and bought wills.
The lawyers do not understand how the judge has kept that family bond a secret, when it clearly seems like a conflict. It is true that Arena has not been interrogated or accused of anything, but some of her assistants have, since in the past they worked with Panzeri in the NGO through which the money that came from Qatar or Morocco was channeled to influence the decisions and debates that are made in the European Parliament.
The replacement of the judge became known this Monday through a statement from the Prosecutor’s Office, which in vague terms alluded to “a series of elements” that could potentially cast doubt on the investigation and threaten “its proper functioning.” The newspaper The evening, the first to reveal the reasons, explains that the lawyer Töller sent an email to the judge today informing him of the relationship between his son and the Arena family. And immediately afterwards he formally requested his recusal. “We are relieved. We regret that the investigating judge did not withdraw directly of the case. Now we can expect a serious analysis of the alleged information from the repentant Panzeri, with respect for the law and justice,” he told the French-speaking newspaper.
Claise, star judge, public figure, writer of novels, with a reputation for being incorruptible and tireless, the protagonist of very important financial cases, has been highly questioned in recent months. by decisions such as keeping Eva Kaili in prison. The Greek politician, stripped of her title of vice president of the chamber and expelled from her group, has not lost her seat. His first requests for parole, with electronic monitoring measures, were denied, despite having a young son and the fact that his partner, a priori much more involved in the plot and who would have confessed his participation in criminal acts in a statement, I had already left.