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Von Der Leyen wants to be president again, but meanwhile she and the EPP refuse to appear in court

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In April 2023, a Belgian lobbyist filed a criminal complaint against Ursula von der Leyen in connection with the negotiation of vaccine contracts by SMS with the CEO of Pfizer. At the hearing before the Brussels court on Friday, June 21, the EPP presidential candidate did not appear. She is virtually in absentia.

Could Ursula von der Leyen be prevented from running for a second term? In any case, the President of the European Commission from 2019 has found herself in trouble in front of her own political group because of this refusal to appear at a criminal hearing, which, at this stage, would have been quite innocuous. The European People’s Party, which chose her as its sole presidential candidate, was also absent.

In April 2023, a Belgian lobbyist specializing in EU-China relations filed a criminal complaint against Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla and the Commission President in connection with the negotiation of SMS vaccine contracts. The plaintiff accuses them of usurpation of functions and titles, destruction of public documents, illegal taking of interests and corruption.

The absence from the hearing of the plaintiff’s lawyers and the European People’s Party, which the plaintiff is seeking to exclude as a candidate for re-election, came as a surprise. While the judge could have decided to postpone the hearing, he chose to hear the Belgian lobbyist’s lawyer, deeming the case “urgent”.

And for good reason: the leaders of the 27 member states will decide on the “key posts” in the EU, including the presidency of the Commission, during their summit on June 27 and 28.

During her presidency, Ursula von der Leyen is accused by the plaintiff of breaking multiple treaties, the European Commissioners’ code of conduct, and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. According to her lawyer, she has also violated the EPP statute.

As for the EPP, what is its strategy following its absence from Friday’s hearing? According to the plaintiff’s lawyer, the EPP did not inform the opposing party or the judge of its absence, symbolizing the “omert√†” that characterizes this case. Everyone is acting as if nothing had happened, as if the last few years and the Pfizer affair had never happened.

But this is not the case

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