EU lawmaker at heart of alleged corruption case in Qatar will remain in custody

A Greek lawmaker charged in connection with a corruption scheme involving Qatar will remain in custody after her hearing was postponed on Wednesday.

European Parliament Vice-President Eva Kaili was due to appear before a judge in Brussels alongside three other people. His lawyer, André Risopoulos, said his hearing had been postponed to December 22.

Kaili is accused of accept bribes influence European policy in favor of the Qatari regime. She was taken into custody after investigators raided her home and said they found “bags of cash”.

Two suspects, including Kaili’s partner Francesco Giorgi, who is a parliamentary adviser, and Pier Antonio Panzeri, a former MP and founder of a nonprofit campaign group, were held in pre-trial detention on Wednesday after their court hearing.

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Greek politician and European Parliament Vice-President Eva Kaili speaks during the European Book Prize award ceremony in Brussels, December 7, 2022. The top European Union official said on Monday that allegations of corruption targeting a Vice-President of the European Parliament are

Greek politician and European Parliament Vice-President Eva Kaili speaks during the European Book Prize award ceremony in Brussels, December 7, 2022. The top European Union official said on Monday that allegations of corruption targeting a Vice-President of the European Parliament are “of the utmost importance”. concern” and called for the creation of an independent ethics body covering all institutions in the bloc.
(AP)

Police have carried out more than 20 raids, mostly in Belgium but also in Italy, as part of an investigation into allegations of bribery for political favours. Prosecutors said in a statement that they suspected people “in political and/or strategic positions in the European Parliament were receiving large sums of money or giving substantial gifts to influence Parliament’s decisions”.

Authorities have not identified the Gulf country suspected of offering money or gifts to European Parliament officials, but several members linked the investigation to Qatar, which is hosting the FIFA World Cup. soccer world.

“The State of Qatar categorically rejects any attempt to associate it with accusations of misconduct. Any association of the Qatari government with the reported allegations is groundless and grossly misinformed,” a Qatari embassy official previously said. in Washington, DC, at Fox News Digital. .

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Cross said relations between the European Union and any country involved in the alleged corruption scheme could be affected.

In this photo provided by the Belgian Federal Judicial Police on Wednesday, part of the 1.5 million euros found and seized by the Belgian police in Brussels.

In this photo provided by the Belgian Federal Judicial Police on Wednesday, part of the 1.5 million euros found and seized by the Belgian police in Brussels.
(AP)

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“Trying to influence our decision-making with bribes, if it were confirmed that it is, that it is linked to certain countries, I would not see how it would not have consequences in the relationship,” he said. “First of all, the mistake is with the people who let themselves be corrupted. Let’s be clear on that. But it’s not just them. There are always two sides to this.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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