+++Socialist MEP and Vice President of the European Parliament Eva Kaili has been arrested by Belgian authorities on corruption suspicion related to Qatar, Belgian media,, French AFP and Greek state-run news agency amna report late on Friday.
EP-Vice MEP Eva Kaili arrested in Brussels on suspicion of corruption
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) December 9, 2022
Authorities in Belgium are investigating a major corruption case in the European Parliament with Qatar as the protagonist.
Police in the Belgian capital have already searched 16 homes and made four detentions as evidence suggests the country in the Gulf tried to influence economic and political decisions in the European Parliament. The four detainees are being reportedly accused of being financed with large sums to promote the interests of Qatari officials in the European Parliament.
“The home of Greek Social Democrat Eva Kaili, Vice-President of the European Parliament, was raided. Her partner had been arrested in the morning. They are both under investigation for corruption.”
Le Soir* reports that “more than fifteen searches carried out by agents of the Central Office for the Suppression of Corruption in Brussels and four people, considered to be suspects, were arrested in order to be heard by the investigators led by the examining magistrate Michel Claise.”
Among the arrested, are 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 co-worker linked to the S&D group and partner of Ms. Eva Kaili.
Kaili, 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 Member of the European Parliament protected by immunity is to catch him in the act (inflagranti).
On November 1, it was reported on Twitter of a meeting of Ms. Kaili with Mr. Al Marri, Qatari Minister of Labor:
“This official of the European Union welcomes Qatar’s commitment to continue its reforms in work after the 2022 World Cup and wish you a good tournament,” Le Soir concludes its article.
The Qatar found a supporter in EP
ERT correspondent in Brussels recalled Friday night that Kaili had recently praised Qatar as “a model for labor rights.” [ the Qatar where thousands of workers lost their lives during construction of World Cup facilities!]and accused Europeans of bulling the country.” The speech at the EP has triggered a storm of reactions.
Her supportive remarks had disturbed PASOK leader Nikos Androulakis, who is also a MEP.
According to ERT, the news fell like a bombshell among the Socialists MEPs of S&D who said “zero tolerance to corruption.” Similar statements came from the Popular party.
It is recalled that Qatar has been accused of human and labor rights violations.
According to additional ERT information, persons of interest in the corruption investigation are also considered parliamentary assistants, while all those involved are active in human rights.
*Le Soir article is via google translate, Note that also on Greek media it’s not clear if Kaili has been “detained” or just “summoned.”