The man nominated to become the EU’s next justice commissioner, Belgium’s Didier Reynders, is being investigated for alleged corruption and money laundering in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Belgian authorities confirmed they opened a preliminary inquiry into Reynders after accusations were made by a former member of the country’s intelligence services in April.
The state prosecutor’s office, who said the fraud investigation is in its very early days, were forced to confirm the probe after reports were published in Belgian newspapers. Less than a week ago, Reynders was named as part of the team of European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. EU parliamentary hearings on the proposed commissioners are due to begin at the end of the month.
“This is all no doubt another ruse by the same malicious individual who is constantly trying to do him harm,” Reynders’ spokesman John Hendrickx said of the fraud allegations on Sunday.
Reynders’ recent nomination for the key EU post drew up past scandals involving the Belgian, including a 2015 incident in which he donned blackface.