BRUSSELS, Dec. 13 (.) –
At least 1.5 million euros in cash is part of the assets seized by the Belgian Police during the searches of the homes of a vice-president of the European Parliament, Eva Kaili, dismissed by the institution this Tuesday, and of the former MEP Italian Pier Antonio Panzeri, in the macro operation for a plot of alleged bribes from Qatar to gain political and economic weight in Brussels.
Along with Panzeri and Kaili, both from the European Social Democratic family, Francesco Giorgi –Kaili’s partner and parliamentary assistant–, and a fourth person remain detained in the framework of the investigation. All of them will appear on Wednesday before the Brussels Court of First Instance.
According to local press reports, it was the arrest of Eva Kaili’s father last Friday, in a Brussels hotel with a suitcase full of “several hundred thousand euros” in cash, which served to demonstrate the “flagrant crime” that allowed the authorities detain the then vice president of the EP and search her apartment despite having parliamentary immunity.
In statements to the Greek channel Open TV, a Kaili lawyer has defended that her client has “nothing to do” with the alleged collection of bribes from Qatar and that she is “innocent”, although she has not clarified the origin of the money found in Your domicile.
Since last Friday, the Police have carried out twenty searches in offices at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Brussels of several MEPs and parliamentary assistants, and it has emerged that one of those questioned was the Belgian Socialist MEP Marc Tarabella.
In statements to the media from Strasbourg (France), the leader of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group in the European Parliament, Iratxe García, has reported the suspension of this MEP until the investigation clarifies the facts.
Despite the fact that Kaili has been expelled from her party (PASOK) and dismissed as MEP vice-president or Tarabella suspended from her parliamentary group, neither of them loses their parliamentary seat.