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Kaili hearing postponed for next week; remains in custody

The pre-trial hearing of MEP Eva Kaili has been postponed to December 22, media in Greece report from Brussels on Wednesday afternoon. She did not  appear at the hearing, where it will be decided whether she will remain in custody or be released on conditions.

The postponement has been confirmed by a judicial source to Euronews, saying  that she requested a delay and that she will instead be heard on 22 December.

The Greek MEP suspected of accepting large sums of money to lobby in favor of Qatar will remain in custody until then.

44-year-old Eva Kaili is among four people charged with participating in a criminal organization, corruption and money laundering that were due to appear in front of a judge.

The Belgian judge reportedly questioned Kaili’s partner, Francesco Giorgi, and former Italian MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, Belgian newspaper Le Soir reported, as well as an unnamed NGO director, whom Italian media have identified as Niccolò Figà-Talamanca, secretary-general of No Peace Without Justice.
Through the family lawyer to Greek and international media, Kaili declared “innocent” and that she was not aware of the existence of the €150,000 in cash in her home.
However, as Live News Magazine at MEGA TV points out it was 750,000 euros in total in the home of Kaili/Giorgi.
600,000 euros were found in the travel bag in the hands of Kaili’s father who was caught in action by Belgian authorities, detained and set free later.
Citing claims some media in Greece report that “the money belonged to a third person and it was Giorgi who called his father in law and urged him to remove the amount from the home.
A picture published by the Belgian Federal Police confirms the hasty packing of the travel suitcase full of banknotes.

“Nearly 1.5 million euros were seized by the Federal Judicial Police found during searches carried out in the Brussels region, as part of a Federal Prosecutor’s Office file of suspicions of corruption, targeting people active in the European Parliament,” Police noted.

According to Belgian reports, authorities seek to ‘identify’ the money through the serial numbers of the bank notes and consequently also the banks and the accounts they were withdrawn from. There are indications that some of the banknotes were printed in Belgium, some others in Germany and Italy.

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