Jan Zahradil MEP facing investigation into undeclared Chinese "financial support"

Czech member of the European Parliament Jan Zahradil is facing a formal investigation into whether he failed to properly disclose financial support from the Chinese Mission to the EU, Dutch media has reported.

In a letter to Dutch investigative magazine Follow The Money, a senior official confirmed that European Parliament President David Sassoli had instructed a group of key MEPs to investigate whether Zahradil followed the institution's rules.

A European Parliament spokesperson said "possible procedures related to the code of conduct are confidential" and declined to comment on whether an investigation was ongoing.

Zahradil, vice chair of the International Trade Committee, chaired the EU-China Friendship Group, an informal club of China-friendly MEPs, until it was recently suspended by Zahradil after POLITICO reported on security concerns surrounding the group, which promoted friendly relations with Beijing at the European Parliament and was seen by critics as a mouthpiece for Chinese propaganda.

Zahadril, who harboured ambitions to become President of the European Commission in 2019, also was at the centre of a controversy as President of the EU-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarian Group.

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