European Parliament Vice and MEP Eva Kaili is reported to be among the four people arrested over the weekend over corruption charges, Belgian media and French news agency AFP report early Sunday afternoon.
#UPDATE Four suspects have been charged and remanded in custody in a Belgian investigation into alleged corruption at the European Parliament tied to Qatar, prosecutors said Sunday.
A judicial source told @AFP they include Eva Kaili, a Greek socialist MEP and a vice president. pic.twitter.com/USicHORdOa
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) December 11, 2022
According to a statement issued by the judicial authorities in Brussels, the have been charged with participation in a criminal organization, money laundering and corruption.
“It is suspected that third parties in political and/or strategic positions within the European Parliament were paid large sums of money or offered substantial gifts to influence the Parliament’s decisions,” the official announcement of the Belgian authorities stated.
The announcement did not name the four arrested suspects, however, it stated that two of the six people detained over the case have been released.
Belgian authorities will issue another statement with more details soon.
Late Saturday, the European Parliament has announced on Saturday the suspension of Greek Socialist Eva Kaili from all her powers and competences as vice-president of the European Parliament, but not from the post itself.
Given the “ongoing investigations being carried out by the Belgian authorities”, the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola “has decided to suspend with immediate effect all powers, tasks and competences delegated to Eva Kaili as vice-president” of the chamber, the spokesperson of the European Parliament has informed.
— Dim. Papadimoulis (@papadimoulis) December 10, 2022
This decision, in practical terms, means the withdrawal of all acting capacities of Kaili, but not of the title of the Vice-Presidency itself, since it is up to the plenary of the European Parliament to remove her from office.
Kaili’s powers, which have already been revoked, included, for example, her role as chair of the ICT Innovation Strategy Working Group or deputy chair for multilateral bodies (outside the security field), in particular the United Nations and the World Trade Organization (WTO).