VDLs political party offices raided by police over corruption claims

Belgian Police raided the offices of the European People’s Party in Brussels on Tuesday over alleged corruption during the party’s campaign for the 2019 EU elections. The party is the home of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen as well as her CDU German political home. 

However, the Commission leader is not connected to the alleged case of corruption. 

Her CDU ally, Mario Voigt, who was the digital campaign manager for EPP leader Manfred Weber during the 2019 election campaign, is believed to be at the heart of the case.

A source close to the matter told EURACTIV.com: “Belgian policemen raided the first and third floor of the headquarters of the party in Rue du Commerce.”

Voigt is now leader of the CDU in Thuringia. Officials from the Thuringian State Criminal Police Office also assisted in the raid. 

The corruption department of the Erfurt public prosecutor’s office has been investigating Voigt on suspicion of corruption in commercial transactions since September 2022. 

Together with their Belgian colleagues, they are looking for information and documents about Voigt’s work as head of the digital election campaign in the 2019 European election campaign.

A spokesman for the Erfurt public prosecutor’s office confirmed the search.

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The EPP, the biggest and oldest political party in the European Parliament, issued a statement: “The European People’s Party confirms that representatives of the Belgian and German police authorities visited the party headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday 4 April.

“The action is linked to an ongoing investigation in Thuringia, Germany.

“The party is collaborating in full transparency with the authorities, providing all the necessary information and documentation. As this is an ongoing legal investigation, the EPP will not provide further comment.”

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