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Belgium Charges Another EU Lawmaker with Corruption

FILE - Belgian lawmaker Marc Tarabella looks on before members of the European Parliament vote on lifting immunity for him and Italian lawmaker Andrea Cozzolino, in Brussels, Belgium, Feb. 2, 2023.

Belgian prosecutors have charged another European Union lawmaker, Marc Tarabella, with corruption in a cash-for-influence scandal that shook the European Parliament, Belgium's daily Le Soir reported.

Tarabella, a Belgian socialist, was detained on Friday. Le Soir quoted federal prosecutors as saying on Saturday he was charged with corruption, money laundering and membership in a criminal organization.

Tarabella's lawyer, Maxime Toller, said his client denied any wrongdoing during the questioning by Belgian authorities.

The so-called Qatargate scandal started last December when authorities charged four people linked to the European Parliament - which sits in the Belgian capital Brussels - over allegations that World Cup host Qatar lavished them with cash and gifts to influence decision-making.