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The daughter and wife of former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri will remain under house arrest in Italy after a Belgian court withdrew its extradition request over the Qatargate corruption case following a plea between the Belgian prosecutor’s office and the Italian politician, reported the Corriere della Sera. Tuesday.
An Italian court granted an extradition request earlier this month.
Panzeri’s wife, Maria Dolores Colleoni, and daughter Silvia Panzeri were arrested on December 9 in their own territory, Lombardy, as suspects in the sweeping Qatargate investigation, and have since been placed under house arrest there.
They are believed to be aware of the former EU lawmaker’s alleged illegal activities of sprinkling money to influence for the benefit of Qatar and Morocco, including through his non-governmental organization Fight Impunity.
Last week, Panzeri reached a plea agreement with the Belgian prosecutor, acknowledging that he “participated in acts of corruption”. Panzeri pledged to provide more information in return for a reduced prison sentence and forfeiture of 1 million euros, of which 600,000 euros were discovered by investigators at his Brussels home.
Michel Claise, the Belgian judge presiding over the investigation, is traveling to Milan on Wednesday to meet with Italian investigators, Corriere della Sera reported.