Brussels 09.12.2022 One of the fourteen vice-presidents of the European Parliament Eva Kailli was also arrested for a hearing as part of the investigation opened into acts of corruption within the institution by a Persian Gulf country, indicated on Friday (December 9) evening the federal prosecutor’s office, confirming information from the newspaper Le Soir and the weekly Knack. According to the two media, it is the Greek MEP Eva Kaili (S&D) but the federal prosecutor’s office did not comment on the names of the incriminated persons.
PASOK party expels MEP Eva Kaili due to ongoing corruption investigation:
— Kathimerini English Edition (@ekathimerini) December 9, 2022
“For several months, investigators from the PJF (Federal Judicial Police, editor’s note) have suspected a Gulf country of influencing the economic and political decisions of the European Parliament, by paying substantial sums of money or offering significant gifts to third parties with a significant political or strategic position within the European Parliament”, explained the federal prosecutor’s office.
Suspicion of corruption by Qatar: “EU Parliament vice-president Eva Kaili has been arrested”
– The Evening (@lesoir) December 9, 2022
A judicial investigation was therefore opened for alleged acts of criminal organization, corruption and money laundering. Sixteen searches were carried out in Ixelles, Schaerbeek, Crainhem, Forest and Brussels.
“Four people were taken for a hearing and could then be brought before the investigating judge in charge of the investigation. These four people were born in 1955, 1969, 1971 and 1987. This operation was aimed in particular at parliamentary assistants working in the European Parliament. Among those arrested is a former European parliamentarian, ”said the federal prosecutor’s office.
The searches allowed the investigators to get their hands on a sum of around 600,000 euros in cash. Computer equipment and cell phones were also seized. These elements will be analyzed as part of the investigations.
Friday morning (December 9) and then throughout the day, more than fifteen searches were carried out by agents of the Central Office for the Suppression of Corruption in Brussels and four people, considered suspects, were arrested in order to be heard by the investigators led by the examining magistrate Michel Claise.
Among them, Luca Visentini, newly elected General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, the former S&D MEP Pier-Antonio Panzeri as well as F. G., former parliamentary assistant to Mr. Panzeri, current collaborator linked to the S&D group and companion of Ms. Eva Kaili. The latter, 44, a former Greek television presenter and MEP since 2014, was also targeted by investigators, Le Soir and Knack learned. Her home was searched late Friday afternoon and she was taken in for a hearing. Information confirmed by the federal prosecutor’s office. Eva Kaili is one of the 14 vice-presidents of the European hemicycle.
The only way to arrest a parliamentarian protected by his immunity is to catch him in the act.
On November 1, it was reported on Twitter that Ms. Kaili had met with Mr. Al Marri, Qatari Minister of Labour: “This official of the European Union welcomes Qatar’s commitment to continue its reforms in matter of work after the 2022 World Cup and wish a good tournament”.