imprisoned for corruption, Eva Kaili fixed on her fate Thursday evening

Belgian justice must say at the end of the day if the former vice-president of the European Parliament can be released from prison and be placed under electronic surveillance as requested by her lawyers.

Belgian justice will say Thursday at the end of the day if Eva Kaili, charged this month in a corruption investigation involving Qatarcan be released from prison and placed under electronic surveillance as requested by his lawyers.

The 44-year-old Greek MEP, stripped of her post as Vice-President of the European Parliament on December 13 in the wake of first revelationsappeared Thursday morning in a closed-door hearing before the Brussels council chamber.

On this occasion, she reaffirmed her innocence, her lawyers told the outlet. Eva Kaili “is innocent and has never been corrupted”, told the press Me Michalis Dimitrakopoulos. His Belgian colleague André Risopoulos specified that Eva Kaili, imprisoned since December 11, had asked to be able to benefit from placement under electronic surveillance. The council chamber must render its decision at the end of the day, “probably late”added Me Risopoulos, assuring that his client “actively participate in the investigation”.

In this scandal which has caused shock waves in the European Parliament and tensions between Qatar and the EU, Eva Kaili is one of a quartet of suspects imprisoned after an indictment for “belonging to a criminal organization”, “money laundering” and “bribery”.

On December 14, it was decided to keep Francesco Giorgi, companion of the Socialist MEP, and former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri in prison, who also appear as key figures in the file. A fourth defendant, Niccolo Figa-Talamanca, leader of an NGO, had been granted placement under an electronic bracelet that day, but the measure was suspended because the federal prosecutor’s office appealed.

Such a measure granted to Eva Kaili by the council chamber could also come up against a veto from the prosecution.

Former TV news presenterwho has become a controversial figure in the Greek Socialist Party (Pasok-Kinal) – which excluded her from the first revelations – Eva Kaili continues to deny having received money from Qatar to influence her political decisions.

According to a Belgian judicial source, bags filled with banknotes worth 150,000 euros were discovered in his apartment in Brussels. But Eva Kaili “did not know the existence of this money”, had already affirmed Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, according to whom Francesco Giorgi would have “betrayed trust” of his companion.

SEE ALSO – Qatargate: Eva Kaili’s partial confession before Belgian investigators

A million and a half in cash

The investigation led by Belgian judge Michel Claise gave rise to twenty searches in Belgium between 9 and 12 December, including the premises of the European Parliament in Brussels.

Eva Kaili’s father was kept in custody for 48 hours in the Belgian capital, while the wife and daughter of Pier Antonio Panzeri, targeted by a European arrest warrant, were arrested in Italy. They challenged before the Italian courts their return to Belgium.

Belgian investigators got their hands on 1.5 million euros in cash, according to the same judicial source. In addition to the 150,000 euros discovered at Eva Kaili, her father was surprised with a suitcase containing 750,000 euros in cash. Finally, 600,000 euros were seized from the home of Pier Antonio Panzeri, a former socialist elected member of the European Parliament who founded the NGO Fight Impunity in Brussels in 2019, whose three years of activity are now being scrutinized.

Italian trade union leader Luca Visentini, who knows Pier Antonio Panzeri, admitted this week to having received a cash donation of around 50,000 euros from Fight Impunity, but assured that it was not linked to any attempt at corruption or drug trafficking. influence for the benefit of Qatar. Concerned in the investigation, Luca Visentini, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC, Ituc in English), was released under judicial supervision on December 11 after two days in police custody. On Wednesday, he was “suspended” from his post by the ITUC’s governing body.

Europe: the “Qatargate” scandal pollutes the meeting of the Twenty-Seven as the revelations follow one another

On the diplomatic level, the scandal shakes the relationship between the EU and Qatar, which warned of a possible “negative impact” on the gas supply. the emirate, which “firmly rejects” the accusations, protested against a vote taken on December 15 in the European Parliament which aims to suspend access “representatives of Qatari interests” the time of the investigation.

SEE ALSO – Alleged corruption in the European Parliament: the vice-president, Eva Kaili and 3 other MEPs, remanded in custody

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