An Italian court on Monday agreed to hand over to Belgian authorities a woman suspected of involvement in a Qatar graft scandal that has rocked the European Parliament.
An appeals court in the northern city of Brescia ruled there were no grounds to prevent the transfer of Maria Dolores Colleoni, wife of former EU lawmaker Pier Antonio Panzeri, whom Brussels prosecutors believe is one of the main players in the alleged corruption.
Colleoni, together with her adult daughter Silvia Panzeri, has been under house arrest for more than a week in compliance with a European arrest order issued by Belgian magistrates.
They are wanted over their alleged “participation in a criminal organisation, money laundering and corruption”.
Belgian prosecutors suspect Greek MEP Eva Kaili and others accepted bribes from World Cup host Qatar in a bid to influence European Union policymaking in one of the biggest scandals to hit the 27-nation bloc.
Angelo De Riso, a lawyer for Panzeri’s wife and daughter, confirmed the decision to reporters outside the court. His client now has five days to lodge a possible appeal with the Court of Cassation, the highest in the country, he added.