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Euro notes. Photo credit: Markus Spiske

Qatar-gate: Sixty EU politicians suspected of crimes

The European Parliament is sinking into a corruption swamp. Of the 705 EU parliamentarians, 60 politicians are suspected of corruption in the course of the bribery scandal involving Vice President Eva Kaili, which corresponds to eight percent.

Published: December 21, 2022, 5:52 am

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    The scandal surrounding the apparently corrupt social democratic EU Vice-President Eva Kaili (44) continues to expand. Some 60 members of the European Parliament are suspected of bribery, and investigations are to be initiated against them. Further searches of offices have been carried out by the public prosecutor’s office.

    Like Eva Kaili herself, the MPs who have now been targeted are said to have made strikingly positive statements about Qatar. There is a suspicion that the Gulf state bought political goodwill.

    The EU Parliament currently has 705 members. With the 60 mandataries showing a lack of ethical standards, eight percent of the people’s representatives have to face investigative authorities.

    As reported, the Greek EU Vice President of Parliament Eva Kaili is currently in custody. Her father was caught trying to remove plastic bags full of cash from Kaili’s apartment. Overall, the Belgian investigators secured more than 1,5 million euros in cash. A trail also leads to Italian EU politicians and trade unionists.

    The Greek social democrat faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

    An attorney for Kaili meanwhile denied that money found in his client’s Brussels home belonged to her. Michalis Dimitrakopoulos said his client had never taken a bribe in her life, and complained “over the stance of her European Parliament colleagues”.

    “She says she feels betrayed when they make her appear as if she had a personal agenda with Qatar and when they hint that she was taking bribes,” he said.

    Kaili’s partner, Italian national Francesco Giorgi, who worked as an assistant in the office of an Italian MEP, is also a suspect in the case. He is the founder of Fight Impunity, an NGO that promotes “accountability as a central pillar of the architecture of international justice”.

    Giorgi is reportedly an adviser on the Middle East and North Africa region in the European Parliament.

    Belgian police reportedly believe Giorgi has direct knowledge about €600 000 found in her apartment and in the possession of Kaili’s father.

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