Latvian European Parliament adviser linked to Qatar scandal

Eldars Mamedovs
Eldars Mamedovs Source: SCANPIX/LETA/Ieva Leiniša

A Latvian European Parliament adviser has been suspended from the European Parliament under suspicion of "serious violations", some of them relating to the current Qatar-gate corruption scandal, Latvian public broadcaster LSM reports.

The European Parliament's Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group suspended the adviser, Eldars Mamedovs, on Wednesday, LSM reported on its English-language page, citing French newspaper Le Point.

The S&D said that it: "fully supports the suspension of an S&D staff member following serious misconduct related to the ongoing judicial investigation.

"The Secretariat of the S&D Group immediately informed the competent Belgian authorities and continues to fully cooperate with all investigating authorities."

The suspension was part of an "internal cleansing" operation, LSM adds; the operation does not mention Mamedovs by name, however, and no official confirmation had at the time of writing been received from the S&D that the suspended adviser is he, LSM reports, but at the same time S&D has deleted his information page from its website.

The Belgian police have also been informed of developments, LSM reports.

Mamedovs is alleged to have urged his European Parliamentary group to be "more lenient" towards Qatar, who recently hosted the football World Cup Finals amid controversy over the human rights situation in that country.

Mamedovs also allegedly opposed a European Parliament resolution which named Russia as a supporter of terrorism, and been "ambiguous" on Iran at a time when that country has been supplying Russia with military drones, to be used in its invasion of Ukraine.

Mamedovs has been working as an advisor to S&D for well over a decade, mainly on issues affecting relations with Iran, Iraq and several countries Arab nations. He ran as an MEP at the 2014 European elections but failed to win a seat.

He is also a former employee of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has worked at Latvian embassies in Spain and the U.S., LSM says.

Law enforcement authorities in Belgium, Italy and Greece have this month seized €1.5 million in cash and confiscated computers and mobile phones in relation to alleged corruption offences involving Qatari money. While much of the media attention has fallen on photogenic MEP, and one of 14 European Parliament vice-presidents, Eva Kalli (Greece), three other people have also been charged.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: LSM, Le Point

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