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Michel Clain, the Belgian Prosecutor who can take much of the credit for uncovering Qatargate, had a little exchange with the Belgian Prime Minister recently.

Michel Clain: “We [Belgians] are in a corrupt country. Either the politicians do not understand, or they themselves are corrupt.”

The Belgian Prime Minister [asked to comment on Clain’s statement]: “If someone believes there is corruption, they have to prove it. You can’t say that, in such a way, lightly,”

Michel Clain [six months later]: “The latest report from the Financial Intelligence Unit reports astronomical sums laundered by criminal organisations. It is a state institution. You have 25 open cases of police corruption and the investigation is ongoing. So we are now six months after [the PM’s] statement. I wonder if we really still need to prove it to him?”


[Clain] cites French revolutionary humanist values as his guiding principles. For him, financial crime has destroyed fundamental aspects of society. “White-collar crime is the cancer of democracy,” Claise wrote in one of his books, “Le Forain” (The Showman)…

Claise’s dramatic [Qatargate] intervention has left the European institutions headquartered in Brussels scrambling to explain why it took a Belgian official to uncover corruption at the core of European democracy.


‘Course now that Clain has uncovered Qatargate, the PM’s boasting about him. “Belgian justice is doing what … the European Parliament hasn’t done.”

Politico writes:

[T]hat peacocking would be ironic to Claise, who complained in October that Belgium’s police are under-resourced, fighting a war against modern, high-tech corruption using “catapults.” Earlier in the year, he said the Belgian government was “on Xanax rather than Viagra.” 

Margaret Soltan, December 19, 2022 7:55PM
Posted in: heroes

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