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Police Conduct Searches of European Parliament Staff Amid Investigation into Russian Interference in EU Elections

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Photo: Police Conduct Searches of European Parliament Staff Amid Investigation into Russian Interference in EU Elections. Source: Collage The Gaze \ by Leonid Lukashenko
Photo: Police Conduct Searches of European Parliament Staff Amid Investigation into Russian Interference in EU Elections. Source: Collage The Gaze \ by Leonid Lukashenko

In Belgium, police searched the office of a member of the European Parliament and his residence in the European Parliament building as part of an investigation into Russia's alleged interference in the EU elections.  This was reported by AP with reference to the Belgian Federal Prosecutor's Office.

The search was conducted in partnership with the EU Agency for Judicial Cooperation (Eurojust) and French judicial authorities.

According to the prosecutor's office, the suspect's office in Strasbourg, where the European Parliament is headquartered, was also searched.

‘The searches are part of a case of interference, passive corruption and membership of a criminal organisation, and relate to signs of Russian interference when members of the European Parliament were approached and paid to promote Russian propaganda through the Voice of Europe news site,’ the prosecutor's office said.

Prosecutors said they believe the suspected employee played a ‘significant role in this’.

Several Dutch media outlets said the suspect was MEP Marcel de Graaff of the far-right Dutch party Forum for Democracy. A person familiar with the investigation confirmed that the reports were accurate.

On Monday, the EU Council imposed sanctions on two individuals and one organisation responsible for propaganda activities targeting civil society in the EU and its neighbouring countries.

In particular, the EU Council imposed restrictive measures against Voice of Europe, an online media outlet accused of a systematic international campaign of media manipulation and distortion of facts to destabilise Ukraine, the EU and its member states.


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