NewsThe Belgian justice keeps the former vice president of...

The Belgian justice keeps the former vice president of the European Parliament in prison for the ‘Qatargate’


It has not been a good day for Eva Kaili. Despite having pleaded “not guilty”, a Belgian investigating judge has decided this Thursday to keep the former vice-president of the European Parliament accused of corruption, money laundering and belonging to a criminal organization within the framework of Qatargate for at least one more month in preventive detention the case of alleged bribery of MEPs and other influential figures in Brussels by Qatar and Morocco that has shaken the European institutions.

A few hours before finding out that she will not be able to go on probation, as her defense had requested, the Greek justice also seized a piece of land that the former news presenter had bought with her partner, the parliamentary assistant and also arrested Francesco Giorgi, in the Hellenic island of Paros.

After deliberating for a good part of the day, the Belgian judge has decided to reject the request of Kaili’s lawyers and keep the still MEP in preventive detention, as are the other two main defendants, Giorgi and the former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri. The Italian politician, founder of the NGO Fight Impunity, which is suspected of being used as a screen, is considered the leader of a plot that would have accepted large bribes – the police have seized 1.5 million euros to date – in exchange to promote policies and decisions of the European Parliament in favor of Qatar and, according to the investigation, supposedly also of Morocco. Kaili, who has been incarcerated in the Haren prison in Brussels since her arrest on the 9th, has 24 hours to appeal the decision,

During the hearing, held behind closed doors before the Brussels correctional court, Kaili’s lawyers had proclaimed the “innocence” of their client who, in addition, is “collaborating” with justice, for which they had requested that she be released under electronic surveillance with a bracelet.

“Eva Kaili is innocent, she has never been corrupted, never,” said her Greek lawyer, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, before the fifty journalists who were waiting in the ancient Palace of Justice in Brussels, although at no time was the detainee seen entering or leave the courtroom. Another of Kaili’s lawyers, the Belgian André Risopoulos, assured that her defendant “participates actively in the investigation” and, furthermore, “rejects any act of corruption.”

On the same day, the Greek Anti-Money Laundering Authority seized a 7,000-square-meter piece of land that Kaili and Giorgi had bought on the Greek island of Paros, according to Efe, which includes what was published in local media. The embargo was decided within the framework of the preliminary criminal investigation that the Greek Economic Crimes Prosecutor has opened against the former vice president of the European Parliament for the alleged commission of the crimes of money laundering and passive bribery. According to the local press, this blockade of the property in Paros opens the door to a criminal trial against Kaili in Greece if it is proven that the couple bought the land with money from illegal activities.

In the dizzying day in which Kaili was arrested, a total of six people were arrested: in addition to the then vice-president of the European Parliament, Giorgi and Panzeri, the police detained Kaili’s father when he was trying to flee with a suitcase full of money.

In that raid also fell an Italian lobbyist and director of an NGO associated with Panzeri, Niccolo Figa-Talamanca, and the union leader Luca Visentini. Both Kaili’s father and Visentini were released two days later. The unionist, who has acknowledged having received 50,000 euros from Fight Impunity, but without compensation, is free, albeit under conditions, according to the Belgian Prosecutor’s Office. Of the other three men, accused like Eva Kaili of corruption, money laundering and belonging to a criminal organization, Giorgi and Panzeri remain in preventive detention, confirmed on Wednesday of last week in another hearing in Brussels. Meanwhile, Figa-Talamanca has already regained his freedom, although he must wear an electronic bracelet. Kaili did not attend that hearing and that is why the hearing was held a week later. In the house that the parliamentary assistant and also a worker at the NGO Fight Impunity shared with Kaili, the police seized 150,000 euros in cash. In the suitcase that was intercepted from the MEP’s father, there were other “hundreds of thousands of euros”, while in Panzeri’s house 600,000 euros were seized.

Kaili’s defense has regretted the multiple leaks to the Belgian press of interrogations of the detainees, some of whom, like Giorgi, have already admitted their involvement in the plot.

“I have never seen such a degree” [of leaks], Risopoulos has denounced in reference to the progress that is being published, especially the newspaper Le Soir, the first to advance the Qatargate scandal. For Risopoulos, these leaks of information under summary secrecy constitute a “frontal violation of the instruction.” The lawyer has confirmed that the Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office has already opened an investigation to find the origin of the leaks, which the defense of the detainees considers could harm the process.

Latest news

Everything You Need to Know Before Booking An Escort

Looking for Birmingham escorts? We get it – there's nothing quite like diving headfirst into some good ol' fun...

Four questions about the relationship between meat and cancer

The World Health Organization published a report last Monday warning that the consumption of processed meat may increase the...

Fast food | Professional Pharmacy

The characteristics of what has been commonly called "fast food" or fast food are reviewed below, from the point...

The truth about fast food

The globalization that characterizes the century in which we live seems to include even the food we eat. The...

Fast food New gastronomic trends

The way of eating - the habits, the chosen ingredients - is decisive...

Kenya’s potato drama: farmers can only meet standards if there are some

The Kenyan public was outraged by KFC’s admission that it was facing potato supply shortages due to delays from...

Must read

Everything You Need to Know Before Booking An Escort

Looking for Birmingham escorts? We get it – there's...

Four questions about the relationship between meat and cancer

The World Health Organization published a report last Monday...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you