European News: EU officials face inquiry

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The Independent Online
The European Commission announced yesterday that it was lifting diplomatic immunity from three high-ranking officials suspected of corruption.

The move clears the way for the Belgian police to intensify investigations into allegations that funds earmarked for the 1993 European Year of Tourism, had been paid out by the commission's tourism unit to bogus schemes in exchange for bribes.

The removal of immunity means the three officials could face prosecution. George Tzoanos, the Greek former head of the tourism unit, spent a year in jail awaiting a decision on prosecution but the Belgian police complained their inquiries were hindered by the commission.