The Milan public prosecutor’s office ordered a search of the headquarters of the NGO “No peace without justice” in Rome, Italy, as part of the investigation into the corruption scandal which stained the European Parliament and in which Morocco is notably involved, the Italian press reported on Wednesday. This search was carried out on the basis of a European investigation decision issued by the Belgian investigating judge Michel Claise. Financial agents from the Fiamme Gialle judicial police unit seized computers, mobile phones and accounting documents from the offices of “No peace without justice”, of which Niccolo Figa-Talamanca is secretary general, Italian media report.
The home of the NGO’s treasurer, Antonella Casu, in Rome was also raided. Assisted by her lawyer, Antonella Casu was heard by the investigators. The secretary general of the NGO, Figa-Talamanca, 56, is charged with “belonging to a criminal organization”, “money laundering” and “corruption”. He was arrested on December 9 in Brussels, the same day as Eva Kaili, the former vice-president of the European Parliament, her companion Francesco Giorgi and Pier Antonio Panzeri, a former MEP. Niccolo Figa-Talamanca had appealed the decision of the Brussels Council Chamber in January to extend his preventive detention by one month.
These arrests are part of the investigation conducted by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office on the influence of Morocco on the economic and political decision-making of the European Parliament against bribes. Last week, the European Parliament called for the creation of an “independent body” with the power to carry out “investigations on its own initiative” and would have “the possibility of verifying the veracity of the declarations of financial interests” of the members of the various European institutions.
The deputies renewed their request, after those sent in September 2021 and then in December 2022, the day after the revelations of suspicions of corruption. They urge the European Commission to initiate the procedure “before the end of March 2023”, in order to conclude “before the summer break the negotiations” on the new structure. To prevent conflicts of interest, MEPs are also calling for the introduction of waiting periods, aimed at temporarily preventing access to certain functions by people who have held positions of responsibility in the European institutions.