Home Society Qatargate judge Michel Claise: ‘The truth will explode one day’
Qatargate judge Michel Claise: ‘The truth will explode one day’

Qatargate judge Michel Claise: ‘The truth will explode one day’

by host

The true story behind Qatargate, the corruption probe at the European Parliament, will emerge one day, one of the chief investigators said.

Michel Claise, a Belgian investigating judge who recused himself from the probe in June, made the prediction as he took aim at unnamed people and media outlets for distorting the real nature of the case.

“Everything is in the file, the truth is found there, and not elsewhere, not in the television studios nor in certain magazines. And the truth will explode one day in the face of those manipulators who try very simply to distort it,” Claise told RTBF’s radio station La Première Wednesday.

Asked about death threats he’s received and an apparent break-in at his home, Claise said an investigation was underway.

Claise refused to answer a question about why he stepped back from the Qatargate case over the summer.

His recusal came after the lawyer of one of the suspects, Belgian MEP Marc Tarabella, revealed that Claise’s son Nicholas and Ugo Lemaire, the son of other potential suspect Maria Arena, were in business together. The prosecutor at the time described Claise’s recusal merely as a precaution, and insisted there was no evidence of a serious conflict of interest.

The judge, who writes detective novels in his spare time, remained tight-lipped about the details of the corruption probe, which has so far led to charges against the three accused MEPs, plus one former EU lawmaker and his assistant. The inside story of Qatargate — when it comes — won’t come from him, he said, because he is legally bound not to comment on the case he worked on.

Claise also bemoaned Belgium’s anti-corruption efforts, describing the country as a “bad student.” He pushed for the creation of a dedicated anti-corruption agency, claiming the federal police service is going bankrupt.

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