Belgian investigators give up the chase for MoroccoGate agents

Belgian investigators give up the chase for MoroccoGate agents

A battle between Belgium and Morocco to deliver a token strand of justice towards the latter’s officials who were responsible for the MoroccoGate scandal in 2022 has been lost by Brussels. The Belgian government has given up its efforts to reel in the two key Moroccan officials who masterminded the bribery scandal in the European Parliament aimed at white-washing Rabat’s poor human rights record, according to Spanish investigative website which sources its report from a number of Belgian journals.

The website claims that the Belgian Justice has decided to withdraw from the investigation into the two key Moroccan agents in the largest corruption scandal within the European Parliament, leaving it to Rabat to do whatever it sees appropriate.

Qatargate was also known as MoroccoGate when Belgian investigators discovered that Qatari officials, when arriving in Brussels, discovered a bribery ring already set up and running for at least a decade run by a former Italian MEP who was given cash by the Moroccans to block MEPs writing negative reports and to whitewash any internal papers which came down hard on Morocco on its human rights record.

According to the Belgian press, Rabat has indicated that it might allow migrants to flood into Spain from Melila or Ceuta – or help keep them from leaving Morocco – in exchange for the Belgians to drop their case – probably influenced by the European Commission.

Given this decision, the investigation of the Moroccan plot may come to nothing, as revealed last weekend by the Brussels newspaper Le Soir . The Belgian authorities have given in to Rabat in exchange, apparently, for Moroccan concessions on irregular immigration.

The so-called Qatargate began at the end of 2022 with the arrest of eight MEPs, former deputies and parliamentary assistants in Belgium and Italy, the police search of almost twenty private homes and the headquarters of the European Parliament in Brussels, as well as the seizure of close of two million euros in cash. Central to the probe was an attractive Greek MEP who just last year was allowed to return to her work in the European parliament after a deal was struck with her to expose the entire racket.

According to the alleged instigators of the plot were two Moroccans, Abderrahim Atmoun , current Moroccan ambassador to Poland, and Mohamed Belharache, known as agent M118 of the General Directorate of Studies and Documentation (Moroccan foreign secret service) who, Maghrebi understands, set up a honey trap sting operation in Marrakech aimed at blackmailing a Belgian MEP. During the entire debacle of MoroccGate, Rabat has somewhat absurdly feigned ignorance and played the victim card, with the foreign minister at one point even lashing out at the EU for treating Morocco differently once it discovered the extent of the bribery.

To interrogate them, it is claimed that Belgian judges and police traveled to Rabat, but were not allowed to see them . Atmoun cannot be questioned in Warsaw either, because he enjoys diplomatic immunity . As for Belharache, he cannot be extradited to Belgium because Rabat does not authorize the extradition of its citizens.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

[mc4wp_form id="206"]