EU crime thriller starring European Parliament’s VP
New details about the EU corruption scandal and the arrest of the Greek MP Eva Kaili (44) have emerged. Together with four other people, she was put into handcuffs in connection with the World Cup in Qatar. The first details about chats and telephone calls from surveillance have become public – and they are alarming.
Published: December 13, 2022, 6:15 am
According to the newspaper L’Echo, investigators found bags full of cash in Kaili’s Brussels apartment. According to the public prosecutor’s office, a total of 600 000 euros in cash and mobile phones were confiscated during the searches. The Belgian judiciary will decide whether the five suspects who have been provisionally arrested will remain in prison.
With the exception of Kaili, all suspects have Italian nationality.
The Greek politician who belonged to the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), was elected as one of fourteen Vice Presidents of the European Parliament on 18 January 2022. She is a former television news presenter who has been serving as a Member of the European Parliament since 2014.
If the suspicion against the five suspects is confirmed, they face up to 15 years in prison.
Third countries try to influence the EU
According to MPs and experts, the corruption scandal could spread even further. The Christian Democrats, Social Democrats and Greens recently voted in favor of visa easing for Qatar, while the AfD opposed it. Incidentally, the rapporteur was Erik Marquardt from the Greens.
The deputy chairman of the ID group in the EU Parliament, Dr. Gunnar Beck (AfD) called for complete clarification in the corruption scandal surrounding the Greek Vice President of the European Parliament: “The socialists always present themselves as moral teachers, but they are obviously susceptible to corruption.”
Luxury vacations in exchange for ‘favors’ for Qatar and other countries
In any case, the police resorted to modern methods of combating organized crime in the investigation. And so, in addition to EU Vice President Kaili, other fish have already been netted, as mentioned. The Italian police had previously arrested the wife and daughter of left-wing MEP Antonio Panzeri. Belgian investigators are quoted in Italian media as saying that Antonio Panzeri “used intelligent and often criminal methods to achieve his goals”.
Investigators focused on his wife and daughter because of their lifestyle. They had allegedly received gifts and luxury vacations worth 100 000 euros from Qatar and Morocco. Panzeri from the Article One Party, is said to have interfered politically in some agendas of the European Parliament “for a fee”, not only in favor of Qatar, but also of Morocco.
As the newspaper La Repubblica writes, the Italian left-wing party has temporarily suspended former MEP Antonio Panzeri (67).
Eva Kaili has also been temporarily excluded from her party.
Investigators searched several rooms in the EU Parliament in Brussels on Monday. According to the Belgian public prosecutor’s office, data was confiscated from the computers of a total of ten parliamentary employees. The computers have been “frozen” since Friday to prevent data needed for the investigation from disappearing.
The Commission will also check the EU Transparency Register for contacts that Commissioners had with stakeholders.
Raids also took place in Italy on Sunday, it said. According to the public prosecutor’s office, there have been 20 searches since the investigation began – 19 in offices and living quarters and one in the European Parliament itself.
According to the public prosecutor’s office, the six are to appear before a court chamber on Wednesday, which is to decide whether the detention is to be maintained and how to proceed.
“The allegations against the Vice President of the European Parliament are very serious,” said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Katarina Barley, who, like the arrested Greek MEP Eva Kaili, is Vice-President of the House and a member of the Socialist Group, admitted last night that French police have now also searched rooms in the Strasbourg seat of Parliament.
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