Corruption scandal in the European Parliament: Moroccan officials interrogated in the presence of Belgian investigators
Brussels – Moroccan officials, including the Moroccan Ambassador to Poland, Abderrahim Atmoun, were interrogated in the presence of Belgian investigators, as part of the investigation into the corruption scandal within the European Parliament in which the moroccan regime was implicated, according to what judicial sources in Belgium reported Saturday.
A spokesman for the Federal Prosecutor’s Office said, “Belgian investigators traveled to Morocco last week, accompanied by the investigating judge and a judge from the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, to carry out investigative missions and hearings.”
The source refused to reveal the names of the Moroccan officials who were interrogated, but the RTBF television station and the newspaper Le Soir confirmed that one of the interrogators was the Moroccan ambassador to Poland, Abderrahim Atmoun (68 years old), who played a major role Providing money and gifts to European representatives, with the aim of influencing his country within the only elected institution in the European Union.
It is noteworthy that three members of the European Parliament were arrested as part of the investigation during which the Belgian police carried out searches in December 2022, during which 1.5 million euros in cash were found at various addresses in Brussels.
According to the newspaper, the elected European official stayed there with her colleague Antonio Panzeri, a former member of the European Parliament, who preferred to provide testimony about the case in order to reduce the severity of the sanctions against him in what became known as “Maroc Gate.” The newspaper pointed out that according to the hearing report, Panzeri told investigators that the payment for the accommodation was made by Abderrahim Atmoun, “or perhaps even the Moroccan state itself.”
Francesco Giorgi – one of Panzeri’s former collaborators – said in December 2022: “The Moroccan ambassador to Poland, Abderrahim Atmoun, used to bring money from time to time to his apartment in Paris.”
It is worth noting that Morocco relies mainly on a “large lobby” that operates under the cover of the European-Moroccan Parliamentary Friendship Committee, which operates under the guidance of Moroccan intelligence through Abderrahim Atmoun. The committee provides Morocco with direct access to members of the European Parliament who are “persuaded” by the Moroccan proposal. In exchange for significant sums of money.