Advertisement

Authorities raid European Parliament offices over Russian interference

Belgian authorities on Wednesday raided European Parliament offices as part of an investigation into Russian interference. File Photo by Patrick Seeger/EPA-EFE
Belgian authorities on Wednesday raided European Parliament offices as part of an investigation into Russian interference. File Photo by Patrick Seeger/EPA-EFE

May 29 (UPI) -- Officials said that authorities carried out raids in France and Belgium in a wide-ranging probe of Russian interference in the European Parliament on Wednesday.

Belgian prosecutors said the raids took place at Parliament offices in Strasbourg, France, and Brussels and in private homes as part of the investigation into the so-called "Russiagate" scandal in which members of European Parliament were allegedly paid to promote Russian propaganda.

Advertisement

"There are indications that the European Parliament employee concerned played a significant role in this," Belgian law enforcement said.

The investigation centers around a person who had worked for the far-right Alternative for Germany party and conservative Dutch Parliament member Marcel de Graaff.

De Graaf said on X his parliamentary staffer Guillaume Pradoura is the target of the investigation but said prosecutors were not looking at him.

"I have no involvement whatsoever in any so-called Russia disinformation operation," De Graff said, according to Euronews. "I have my own political beliefs and proclaim them. That is my job as MEP."

Belgian prosecutors said their suspect took part in a Russian propaganda operation involving "passive corruption."

"When and if requested to, the European Parliament fully cooperates with law enforcement and judicial authorities to assist the court of justice and will continue to do so," a representative from the European Parliament press service said. "It is in this context that access to an office was provided."

Advertisement

The investigation is part of an ongoing review of the Dutch news organization Voice of Europe, charged with reporting Russian propaganda. The European Union has already sanctioned the news organization.

An aide for Alternative for Germany MEP Maximilian Krah on accusations of being a spy for China.

Latest Headlines