Searches at the European Parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg

Searches at the European Parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg
Searches at the European Parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg

Searches are underway in the offices of a “collaborator” of the European Parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg, as well as at his Brussels home, as part of the investigation into suspicions of Russian interference and corruption, a announced the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office on Wednesday.

According to a Source close to the matter, the person targeted is Guillaume Pradoura, former parliamentary assistant to German MEP Maximilian Krah, of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

The latter is now a parliamentary assistant to Dutch MEP Marcel de Graaff, a member of the Forum for Democracy, a Dutch eurosceptic and conservative party.

“These searches are part of a case of interference, passive corruption and membership in a criminal organization, and concern indications of Russian interference, according to which members of the European Parliament were allegedly approached and paid to promote Russian propaganda via the +information website+ Voice of Europe,” the prosecution said in a press release.

“There are indications that the European Parliament employee in question played an important role in this affair,” the same Source added. The investigation was launched by the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office in April, after the identification of an influence network financed by Moscow.

Prague revealed at the end of March the discovery by Czech intelligence services of a network financed and orchestrated by Moscow which spread pro-Russian propaganda on Ukraine via the “Voice of Europe” site. Belgium then stressed that, according to its services, MEPs “had received money” in this context to relay messages from Russia. The “Voice of Europe” site was recently placed on an EU sanctions list and banned from broadcasting.

“As part of a file from the federal prosecutor’s office launched in April 2024, the federal judicial police of Brussels, on the orders of an investigating judge of the Dutch-speaking court of Brussels, carried out searches on May 29 at the home of an employee of the European Parliament in Schaerbeek (a municipality in Brussels) as well as at his office at the European Parliament in Brussels,” said the prosecution.

“At the same time, in close collaboration with Eurojust and the French judicial authorities, a search was also carried out, at the request of the Belgian investigating judge, in the office of this collaborator at the European Parliament in Strasbourg,” the press release added.

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