The scandal broke at the end of last week. 4 people, including European Parliament Vice-President Eva Kaili, have been arrested in what seems to mark the start of an unprecedented corruption case for the institution. We learn this morning that the latter is the subject of a corruption investigation, and that large sums have been found at her home and those of her co-defendants. The point on what we know.
The vice-president of the European Parliament is accused of corruption
The case seems to become a major scandal: the European Federal Prosecutor’s Office has confirmed that 4 people have been arrested for ” membership in a criminal organization, money laundering and corruption “. According to several sources, in addition to the Vice-President of the European Parliament Eva Kaili, her companion Francesco Giorgi, a former parliamentary assistant, was arrested. This would also concern Pier Antonio Panzeri, a former Italian MEP, who is also president of the NGO Fight Impunity.
Searches took place in the homes of the accused, and 12 other people. We would have found 1 million euros at Eva Kaili and 500,000 euros at Pier Antonio Panzeri, all in cash. There are also reports of tens of thousands of euros found in other homes of unnamed people. This is the first time that a raid of this magnitude has been carried out in Brussels. In addition to cash, authorities seized phones, computers and documents.
According to AFP, Eva Kaili would have been taken “ in the act », in possession of bags of tickets during his arrest on Friday evening. A press release from the prosecution also reveals the scope of the investigation:
” The payment of large sums of money or the offering of significant gifts to third parties having a political and/or strategic position allowing, within the European Parliament, to influence decisions. »
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Ties with Qatar?
The accusation allegedly originated with a whistleblower, who revealed that members of the European Parliament reportedly have ties to Qatar, including members of the government. We note that on November 22, Eva Kaili went to Qatar, a visit according to her productive which had pushed her to affirm then:
“Qatar is a pioneer in labor rights.»
An assertion which had already raised some eyebrows, while the country was accused of setting up a system which led to the death of a very large number of workers on the sites of the World Cup. Some also noted Marc Tarabella’s assertion. The member of the European parliament asserted a short time ago that Qatar was “a good example for other countries in the region to follow“. The office of the latter was sealed by the Belgian justice for investigation.
Reports have also multiplied since Friday. According to TF1 information, Natalie Loiseau, a Renaissance MEP, thus affirms been the subject of an attempt to intimidate last February when she was critical with Qatar. Manon Aubry, president of the left group in the European Parliament, also reported in a long Twitter thread that she had encountered great difficulties during the negotiation of a resolution on the obstacles to human rights during construction sites linked to the World Cup :
🔴 The worst corruption scandal in history shakes parliament 🇪🇺 involving Qatar and elected socialists.
While negotiating a resolution on Qatar, I saw first-hand the interference of the emirate.
Here’s behind the scenes of a story that has yet to be told⤵️
— Manon Aubry (@ManonAubryFr) December 11, 2022
In the midst of the Football World Cup, these accusations and revelations are in any case explosive, and augur an unprecedented scandal within the European Union. It will also be recalled that Eva Kaili is known for her particularly “pro-crypto” positions. It had therefore firmly supported the European MiCA regulations, and was preparing a report on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to present it to Parliament. While the institution has just adopted particularly strict rules for the cryptocurrency ecosystem, in order to fight against money laundering, the case is therefore puzzling.
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Sources: AFP, TF1 Info
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