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European Parliament Corruption Investigation: Judge Claise’s Refusal

Michel Claise - Juge d'instruction specialise | Investigation judge specialised in financial crime 08/11/2017

Tarabella’s defense had filed a motion to disqualify the investigating judge in charge of the investigation.

Investigating judge Michel Claise refuses to withdraw from the investigation into suspicions of corruption within the European Parliament, the federal prosecutor’s office said on Monday, confirming information from the newspaper Le Soir.

Last week, the defense of MEP Marc Tarabella filed a motion to disqualify the investigating judge in charge of the investigation. According to Me Maxim Töller, his client’s presumption of innocence has been flouted on several occasions. The lawyer believes that the investigating judge is not carrying out his investigations for and against him.

An element of the motivation of the arrest warrant is problematic, according to Mr. Töller, because Judge Claise “seems clearly to take for granted the facts disputed [by Marc Tarabellla] and on which the investigation he is directing relates”. As Judge Claise sees no reason to step aside, the Court of Appeal will have to rule on the motion for recusal. Subsequently, this decision is still likely to be challenged via an appeal in cassation.

The Belgian MEP was placed under arrest warrant after his hearing by the investigating judge. On Thursday, the Brussels council chamber extended the socialist’s detention by one month.

This article is originally published on moustique.be

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