The investigator’s son Mrs. Claes and the son of MEP Marie Arena, whose name is mentioned in the Qatargate case file, proceeded to set up a company in 2018, Le Soir newspaper reports, adding that his lawyer Marc Tarabella denounced it yesterday, Monday afternoon.

“It was a potential conflict of interest that he overthrew investigator Michel Cleese in the Qatargate case.

His eldest son, Nicolas, has been working since 2018 with Marie Arena’s son, Hugo. They founded together, in equal shares with five other investors, the company BRC & Co, which specializes in the sale of CBD, the cannabis that is sold legally in our country because it is free of its psychoactive substance.

This information, highlighted by Mark Tarabella’s lawyer, Maxime Toler, forced the investigator to abandon the handling of this landmark case of corruption and alleged interference in the European Parliament,” Soir points out.

The announcement of Michel Cleese’s departure was made known yesterday, Monday evening, through a press release issued by the federal prosecutor’s office.

“Evidence has recently emerged. They could raise some questions as to the objective function of the investigation,” writes the federal prosecutor’s office. “As a precautionary measure and to allow justice to continue its work in peace and to maintain the necessary separation between private and family life and professional responsibilities, investigator Michel Clez has informed us that he has decided this evening to withdraw from the file.”

The prosecutor clarifies in the press release that the investigator made the decision “despite the absence of effective evidence that could call into question the credibility of anyone involved and the substantial work that the investigators and he have accomplished on this file.”

Investigator Oreli Dezef, who has already intervened several times in the past in this case, will take over the direction of the investigation.

Michel Cleese’s retirement became inevitable when at 4:04 p.m. on Monday, MEP Mark Tarabella’s lawyer, Maxime Toller, sent a letter directly to the investigator. He informs him of his discoveries and asks him to step aside, notes Soir, or the lawyer would file a second appeal today against Michel Clez.

“We are relieved,” says Maxime Toller of the announcement of Michel Clees’ departure. “We regret that the investigator was not immediately withdrawn from the case. We can now hope that an analysis will be made for and against the so-called information of the ‘repentant’ Pancheri, with respect to the law and justice”, he adds.

According to the Belgian Monitor, Nicolas Clees and Hugo Lemaire are still today shareholders of BRC & Co.