Hans-Peter Martin, a well-known Austrian member of the European Parliament, is to be investigated for expense claims of 1.3 million euros ($1.7 million) — including one mysterious claim listed only as “elephant” — Reuters reports.The Vienna prosecutors office has sent a request to the European Parliament, asking for Martin to be stripped of his legal immunity and face investigation for “crimes of misuse of funding” and “embezzlement.”
According to Reuters, one claim — for 2,200 euros ($2,990) — is listed simply as “elephant”. Martin told Reuters that Martin claims this is actually for a book about Auschwitz from an Austrian publisher called “Ephelant”.
Martin is a former journalist who wrote for Der Spiegel before becoming an MEP in 1999. In 2004 he accused MEPs of padding their expense budgets, and began to led a list of independent candidates whose slogan is “Let’s clean up in Brussels.”
Martin told Reuters he believed that the allegations against him had been leaked as retaliation for his campaign to clean up European politics.
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