Belgian police raided the home of Socialist MEP Marc Tarabella on Saturday evening in connection with the Qatar corruption scandal that has rocked the European Parliament.
The raid at Tarabella’s residence came after European Parliament Vice-President Eva Kaili was arrested on Friday as part of the investigation into alleged illegal lobbying activities by Qatari officials. Kaili was suspended from her position as vice president on Saturday. She was charged with corruption on Sunday, Belgian media reported.
Belgian S&D MEP Tarabella is vice-president of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with the Arabian Peninsula and co-president of the institution’s sports group.
“I have absolutely nothing to hide and I will answer any questions from investigators, needless to say, if it can help them shed light on this case,” Tarabella said in a statement to POLITICO. “The justice system is following its process of information gathering and investigation, which I find entirely appropriate.”
Investigators seized computer equipment during the search of Tarabella’s home, Belgian media Le Soir reported.
Tarabella was not arrested.
The President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, was present during the search, in accordance with Belgian law, her spokesperson confirmed on Sunday.
Last month, Tarabella told POLITICO he was “convinced” that Qatar had become “a good example for other neighboring countries to follow” thanks to hosting the World Cup, which takes place in the Gulf States.
Metsola’s spokesman added that the parliament and its speaker “firmly oppose corruption, cooperate actively and fully with law enforcement and judicial authorities to assist the course of justice.”