BREAKING NEWS

Italy agrees to transfer suspect in EU graft scandal to Belgium

An appeals court in the northern city of Brescia said Silvia Panzeri could be extradited after having twice postponed a ruling pending a report on conditions in Belgian jails.

Her lawyers had said last month the request should have been rejected because of overcrowding in Belgian jails, and the judges asked for information from Brussels on its prison system, that has taken several weeks to arrive.

Panzeri, 38, is the daughter of former EU lawmaker Pier Antonio Panzeri, who is believed by Brussels prosecutors to be one of the main players in the alleged corruption. He has denied any wrongdoing.

The same court, with a different set of judges, had already cleared the transfer to Brussels of Maria Dolores Colleoni, the wife of Pier Antonio Panzeri and mother of Silvia.

Colleoni is still in Italy, however, because her lawyers filed an appeal against her transfer with Italy's highest appeals court which is expected to decide on January 31.

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