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The European Parliament, the Katargate corruption scandal. Law and Justice MEPs checked by the Belgian prosecutor’s office, according to “Rzeczpospolita”

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The Belgian prosecutor’s office is conducting a wide-ranging investigation into corruption in the European Parliament and links between MEPs and Qatar. “Rzeczpospolita” wrote that among about 60 people checked by investigators, there are two MEPs from Poland – Tomasz Poręba and Ryszard Czarnecki.

The media reveal further threads of the corruption scandal in the European Parliament, which concerns the acceptance of financial benefits from Qatar in return for decisions favorable to this country. In December, Eva Kaili, former vice-president of the European Parliament, was arrested in this case.

On Monday, “Rzeczpospolita” wrote that the extensive investigation of the Belgian prosecutor’s office, which is investigating the relations between the members of the European Parliament with Qatar and Morocco, includes up to 60 people. According to the daily, there are also deputies from Poland among them. These are MEPs PIS – Tomasz Poręba i Ryszard Czarnecki.

Poręba: I’ve been to Qatar once. At the World Cup

According to “Rzeczpospolita”, Poręba met in October 2016 with the Qatari ambassador in Brussels and the head of the Mission of the State of Qatar to the European Union, Sheikh Alim bin Jassim Al Thani. Officially, the meeting concerned “ways to strengthen cooperation between the State of Qatar and the European Parliament through the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists and the Polish delegation to the European Parliament in various areas of mutual interest.”

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Poręba replied to the newspaper that “the meeting he had with the Ambassador of Qatar in 2016 was of a courtesy nature and was recorded on the official website at his request.” He assures that he “has nothing to do” with the revealed corruption scandal.

– I have never been questioned by the Belgian public prosecutor’s office. No one from Belgian law enforcement has ever contacted me. Nor have I ever participated in any delegations to Qatar, Morocco or Mauritius in my mandate as a Member of the European Parliament. It is easy to cast a shadow of suspicion on my person, hurting my image, especially since I have not heard of anything like that – said Poręba, quoted by “Rzeczpospolita”. He admitted that he went to Qatar once in his life – in 2022 for the World Cup.

Tomasz PorebaJan VAN DE VEL/EU

Czarnecki went to “Qatar Davos”

According to “Rzeczpospolita”, Ryszard Czarnecki himself admitted that he went to Qatar for the “Qatari Davos”, i.e. the Doha Forum.

“The attendance list at the Doha Forum (I attended it again, although for the first time as a member of the official European Parliamentary Delegation of the EU-Countries of the Arabian Peninsula) is impressive, comparable to the World Economic Forum in Davos (…)” wrote Czarnecki in an article in 2019 part of which is quoted in the diary.

When asked by “Rzeczpospolita” about trips to Qatar, Czarnecki “did not answer how many times he was in this country and for what purposes”.

Richard CzarneckiAlexis HAULOT/EU

Main photo source: Alexis HAULOT/EU

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