Belgians delay bribes decision

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The Independent Online
The Belgian senate postponed for two days a decision on whether to lift the parliamentary immunity of Guy Spitaels, head of the regional government in southern Wallonia, and the Walloon Interior Minister, Guy Mathot, in connection with allegations of bribes paid by the Italian aircraft company Agusta to earn a 1988 government contract, AP reports from Brussels.

The House of Representatives was expected to make a decision on the federal Vice-Premier, Guy Coeme, today. All three belong to the French-speaking Socialist Party, a key partner in Jean-Luc Dehaene's four-party coalition government.

Mr Spitaels yesterday leaked parts of the prosecutor's dossier, indicating that Mr Dehaene and the Foreign Minister, Willy Claes, had also met Agusta executives. Both denied any wrongdoing.