Qatargate: Italy postpones decision on MEP's extradition to Belgium
Italian judges have postponed a decision on the extradition of Italian MEP Andrea Cozzolino to Belgium until 16 March, the daily Il Mattino reported on Tuesday. Cozzolino is a suspect in the European Parliament corruption investigation known as Qatargate.
The Naples court noted that on Friday it had received documents, including a report on the conditions of detention in Belgium, as requested by the MEP's lawyers and the Naples Court of Appeal. Only after the translation of these texts can the merits of the case be examined and the request for Cozzolino's extradition to Belgium be considered.
Cozzolino, who says he suffers from a heart condition, has been under house arrest for more than two months. He is suspected of receiving money from countries such as Qatar and Morocco to influence decisions in the European Parliament in their favour. He denies all charges. The decision on his extradition has now been postponed four times.
Eva Kaili, the Greek former vice-president of the European Parliament, Belgian MEP Marc Tarabella and former Italian MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri were placed under electronic surveillance in mid-April.
Andrea Cozzolino © JOHN THYS / AFP