Dhe deposed Vice-President of the European Parliament, Eva Kaili, who is suspected of corruption, made a partial confession before her arrest. This emerges from an arrest warrant quoted by the newspapers “Le Soir” and “La Repubblica” on Tuesday. “The accused admits to having instructed her father to hide money,” it says. Kaili also stated that she knew about her husband Francesco G.’s collaboration with former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri “from the past” and that “suitcases with banknotes passed through their apartment”.
There, investigators found €150,000 in cash on December 9, after earlier arresting Kaili’s father as he tried to carry another €750,000 in a suitcase to safety. Kaili was then questioned. On this basis, the investigating judge Michel Claise then issued the arrest warrant. On Thursday, a court is to examine whether the 44-year-old social democrat must remain in custody.
Kaili wanted to warn other suspects
On the morning of December 9, investigators first arrested Kaili’s partner G. after he had left their shared apartment near the European Parliament. According to the arrest warrant, Kaili then tried to “warn” Panzeri and two other unnamed MEPs. This statement contradicts the previous account of Kaili’s lawyer Michailis Dimitrakopoulos. He had said that Kaili knew nothing about the origin of the money. G. confessed to the investigators that he belonged to a criminal organization that was headed by Panzeri. His job was to manage bribes.
Panzeri was also arrested on the morning of December 9, and the police found €600,000 in cash on him. His arrest warrant states that he has “partially confessed” and admitted to influence by Qatar and Morocco. At the same time, he accused another Socialist MP, Marc Tarabella of Belgium, of being the beneficiary of “gifts” from Qatar. Tarabella’s house was searched and he himself denies any involvement. G. also accused Tarabella in his statement.
The Belgian judiciary obtained arrest warrants for Panzeri’s wife Dolores C. and his adult daughter Silvia, who they suspect of complicity. On Monday, a court in Breschia approved the extradition of the wife, and this Tuesday the court will hear about the extradition of the daughter. “Le Soir” and “La Repubblica” reported on incriminating telephone calls that the Belgian state security system listened to and the logs of which they were able to see.
Below is a conversation from June 4th of this year. Panzeri contacted his wife while she was vacationing in Morocco with their daughter. She confirmed to him that both were with Abderrahim Atmoun, a Moroccan diplomat who is currently ambassador to Poland. “Have you seen the boxes?” Panzeri asked. His wife replied, “Yes, I saw it! Because later, before we left, he put some products in the bags! Hihihi!” Atmoun confirmed Panzeri in another phone call. Back in Italy, where the family home had apparently been bugged, Panzeri’s wife said: “We have to hope that nobody comes in here, otherwise everything and everything would be found!” During a search, the Italian police found 17,000 euros in cash House.
EU Commission examines approval of additional income
Panzeri and Francesco G. knew each other from their time in the European Parliament. Until Panzeri’s departure in 2019, G. had been his assistant for the Maghreb. They then founded the alleged human rights organization “Fight Impunity” with two other people, which was supported by many prominent social democrats. On Sunday, former EU interior commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said he had received a total of 60,000 euros from the organization for a year, until February 2021. This secondary activity, which is not detailed, had to be approved by the EU Commission because the Greek was still in a transition phase. This happened even though the organization was not registered in the EU Transparency Register. The commission initiated a review, as a spokesman said.
The General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, Luca Visentini, also stated that he had received 50,000 euros from the organization. The money was intended for his election campaign for the leadership position, which he has held since November. Visentini is one of the accused in the case, he is not in custody, but has to wear an ankle bracelet.
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