Vice-president of the European Parliament Eva Kaili arrested for corruption is suspended
Greek MP Eva Kaili and four other people are accused of alleged money laundering and criminal organization.
The Greek MEP Eva Kaili, arrested on Friday in Brussels on suspicion of corruption linked to Qatar, was stripped of her functions as vice president of the European Parliament, the presidency of that legislative chamber reported on Saturday (10.12.2022).
Kaili was “suspended with immediate effect from all the powers , duties and tasks that had been delegated to her in her capacity as vice-president of the European Parliament,” said a spokesperson for the EP head, Roberta Metsola.
The vice president is one of the five people arrested in the framework of a possible case of corruption, criminal organization and money laundering in the European Parliament, linked to Qatar.
The detainees testified on Saturday before the Belgian judge handling the case, who will decide tomorrow whether or not to release them, as confirmed by the Federal Prosecutor's Office.
Metsola said in a Twitter message that the institution “stands firm against corruption” , and assured that it will cooperate “fully with the relevant police and judicial authorities.” “We will do everything possible to help justice,” she said.
Our @Europarl_EN stands firmly against corruption.— Roberta Metsola (@EP_President) December 10, 2022
At this stage, we cannot comment on any ongoing investigations except to confirm that we have & will cooperate fully with all relevant law enforcement & judicial authorities.
We'll do all we can to assist the course of justice.
The group of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, to which Kaili belongs, had already decided on Friday to suspend the Greek MEP in that formation.
In addition, she expressed her “full” willingness to cooperate with the judicial authorities and asked to stop any file and vote related to the Gulf States until “until the competent authorities provide relevant information and clarifications.”
Together with Kaili, the arrested are her partner; the former Italian MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri (also a Social Democrat); the newly elected president of the International Trade Union Confederation, Luva Visentini, and a lobbyist whose identity has not been disclosed.
The Belgian judicial police carried out 16 house searches on Friday and arrested these five people, after having carried out an investigation for several months in which they suspected that Qatar has tried to influence the economic and political decisions of the European Parliament.
“She would have done so by paying substantial amounts of money and offering important gifts to third parties with an important political or strategic position within the European Parliament,” the federal prosecutor's office said on Friday.
In fact, the judicial police confiscated in the records computer equipment , mobile phones and about 600,000 euros in cash.
According to the Belgian newspapers “Le Soir” and “Knack”, half a million euros in cash were found at the home of Panzeri, who is now president of the Fight Impunity association, dedicated to fighting impunity for serious violations of human rights or crimes against humanity.
La Comisión Europea despoja de sus funciones a Eva Kaili, vicepresidenta de la Eurocámara.— DW Español (@dw_espanol) December 10, 2022
La diputada fue detenida por sosprechas de corrupción y blanqueo de dinero. Kaili dijo el pasado noviembre que el emirato "es líder en materia de derechos laborales".#DWNoticias / ajr pic.twitter.com/MXTT8vXIKx