Four people have been arrested in Belgium on suspicion of corruption, including the Vice President of the European Parliament, Eva Kaili.
A court in Belgium on Sunday, December 11, ordered the custody of four people, including the vice-president of the European Parliament, Eva Kaili. Belgian prosecutors believe that the member of the European Parliament took a bribe from one of the Persian Gulf countries.
Local media speculated that the Gulf state in question was Qatar, but a Qatari spokesman said he was not aware of any investigation and denied the allegations. At the same time, investigators found a large amount of money from Eva Kylie and detained her father. The details of the scandal will be telling Correspondent.net.
The investigating judge in Brussels charged the four defendants in the case, including Eva Kylie, with “belonging to a criminal organization, money laundering and corruption”, then took them into custody.
The source of France 24, said that the vice-president of the European Parliament did not use parliamentary immunity, because he was caught in vain. We are talking about the “bags of money” discovered in the search of his house.
According to Belgian publications, Kylie’s father is also suspected of the crime, he was allegedly caught carrying money “in a suitcase”.
In total, police seized 600,000 euros in cash during 16 searches in Brussels. Computers and mobile phones were also seized for examination of their contents.
Investigators suspected that the Gulf state had been influencing the economic and political decisions of the parliament for months.
“This was done by paying large sums of money or offering large gifts to third parties with significant political and strategic positions in the European Parliament,” the Belgian federal prosecutor said in a statement.
Who else is on the case?
In addition to Kylie, according to Belgian media, a former MEP from the socialists, Pierre-Antonio Pantseri, a Brussels lobbyist and another unnamed defendant, were taken into custody. At the same time, two people previously detained by Belgian law enforcement officials were released, among them the head of the trade union.
It is also not known who gave the bribe. Belgian news outlets Knack and Le Soir named the Gulf state Qatar based on information from “well-informed sources.”
A Qatari government spokesman told AFP: “We are not aware of any details of the investigation. Any allegations of misconduct by the State of Qatar are serious misinformation.” He added that the country “acts in full compliance with international laws and regulations.”
Reaction in Europe
It should be noted that the suspects have not been publicly named. But Eva Kaili, who has been a member of the European Parliament for eight years, was removed from her duties as vice president of the European Parliament. He was also expelled from the parliamentary group of Socialists and Democrats and expelled from Greece’s center-left Pasok party.
The Greek prosecutor’s office has reportedly frozen all of Kylie’s assets.
EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell said the arrests on suspicion of corruption in the European Parliament were alarming. He said the investigation was not directed against anyone in the EU diplomatic service.
And Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said the allegations against the four people “cause a lot of damage.” He said the allegations were “very damaging” and urged police to “get to the bottom of it.”
It is expected that corruption issues will be discussed in the plenary session of the European Parliament this week in Strasbourg. The President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola on December 12 also convened a meeting of the leaders of the political blocs of the parliament for the “Belgian inquiry.”
The scandal erupted during the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Qatar hopes the championship will boost its reputation, but it has faced allegations of mistreatment of migrant workers building new host country stadiums.
Notably, Kylie visited Qatar and met Labor Minister Ali bin Samiha al-Marri shortly before the World Cup and praised the Gulf nation as a “leader in labor rights.” His opinion, which he repeated in the hall of the European Parliament, then greatly alarmed some representatives of the European Parliament.
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I am David Wyatt, a professional writer and journalist for Buna Times. I specialize in the world section of news coverage, where I bring to light stories and issues that affect us globally. As a graduate of Journalism, I have always had the passion to spread knowledge through writing.