Former Italian MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri has agreed to provide information to prosecutors on the European Parliament corruption scandal in return for a lighter sentence ©Getty Images

Former Italian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Pier Antonio Panzeri has agreed to provide information to prosecutors in relation to the bribery scandal which implicated FIFA World Cup host Qatar in return for a reduced sentence.

Panzeri is one of four suspects being held in Belgium on suspicion of accepting bribes from Qatar and Morocco in exchange for influence in the Brussels-based European Parliament.

Laurent Kennes, a lawyer for Panzeri, revealed that the 67-year-old, an MEP for North-West Italy from 2004 until 2019, "acknowledges having participated in acts of corruption", as reported by Politico.

Belgium's Federal prosecutor's office has revealed that Panzeri has signed a "repentance agreement" to provide details on alleged crimes, including people accused of taking and giving bribes, how the network operated and financial agreements with other countries.

Panzeri is reportedly set to face a one-year jail sentence, fine and confiscation of €1 million (£875,000/$1.1 million) in assets, but could have been handed a significantly longer sentence.

The deal struck with prosecutors is only the second of its kind in Belgian history.

Lawyer Laurent Kennes said Pier Antonio Panzeri
Lawyer Laurent Kennes said Pier Antonio Panzeri "acknowledges having participated in acts of corruption" ©Getty Images

On the day previously, an Italian court agreed to extradite Panzeri's daughter Silvia Panzeri, having ruled last month that his wife Maria Colleoni could be extradited.

Italy's top appeals court is set to make a final ruling in the case.

Silvia Panzeri and Colleoni are under house arrest, and deny allegations of corruption and money laundering.

Police had seized around €1.5 million (£1.3 million/$1.6 million) in cash during raids on a series of locations in Brussels in December.

Panzeri, Greek MEP Eva Kaili, her partner Francesco Giorgi and lobbyist Niccolò Figà-Talamanca were charged with money laundering, corruption and participating in a criminal organisation.

Kaili denies all wrongdoing and Figà-Talamanca's family have claimed he is innocent.

Reports have suggested that Giorgi has confessed and sought the exoneration of Kaili, but his lawyer has declined to comment.

Qatar controversially held the 2022 FIFA World Cup ©Getty Images
Qatar controversially held the 2022 FIFA World Cup ©Getty Images

Belgian prosecutors are seeking the lifting of the immunity of two MEPs in Belgium's Marc Tarabella and Italy's Andrea Cozzolino, but lawyers for both have denied any role in what has been dubbed "Qatargate".

The European Parliament earlier this week began a procedure to waive immunity from prosecution for Tarabella and Cozzolino which is expected to take one month.

Qatar and Morocco have both denied funnelling money to gain influence in the European Parliament.

Qatar was in the spotlight at the end of 2022 when it staged the first-ever FIFA World Cup in the northern hemisphere's winter from November 20 to December 18.

The build-up to the World Cup was marred by the disputed bidding process in 2010 which led to Russia and Qatar being awarded the 2018 and 2022 editions respectively, and the host nation's record on human rights, particularly its treatment of migrant workers, criminalisation of homosexuality and lack of women's rights.