NewsEuropeThe Police search the house and question the socialist vice president of the European Parliament for alleged bribes from Qatar

The Police search the house and question the socialist vice president of the European Parliament for alleged bribes from Qatar



The Belgian Police have searched this Friday the home of a vice-president of the European Parliament, the Greek socialist Eva Kaili, who has also been questioned, in relation to a plot of alleged bribes by Qatar to people who could influence decision-making of the European institution.

The Federal Prosecutor’s Office has reported the arrest of four people and up to 16 searches carried out in various neighborhoods of Brussels in the framework of an investigation into an “alleged criminal organization of corruption and money laundering” that for months had been seeking on behalf of of a Gulf country to influence the “economic and political” decisions of the European Parliament.

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“For this they paid sums of money and offered important gifts to third parties with a significant political and/or strategic position within the European Parliament,” explained the Prosecutor’s Office in a statement confirming the four arrests without clarifying the identity of those investigated.

However, sources of the investigation cited by the newspapers Le Soir and Knack have revealed that among the detainees is a former socialist MEP, the Italian Pier-Antonio Panzeri, several parliamentary assistants or the general secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, Luca Visentini. These media also identify Qatar as the country investigated in the framework of this anti-corruption operation.

During the searches, the authorities have seized about 600,000 euros in cash and computer equipment and mobile phones for analysis by investigators.

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From the European Parliament they have opted for prudence and have not wanted to comment on a matter that is under investigation because, the sources have indicated, the institution does not comment on ongoing judicial processes, neither in this nor in any case.

So far, the names that have emerged are linked to staff from the Socialists and Democrats in the EP (S&D) group, including the vice president of the institution Eva Kaili, whose address has been registered.

In a message on Twitter from the EU ambassador in Qatar, Cristian Tudor, to whose account access has been restricted after the corruption plot was revealed, an image published at the beginning of the month of Kaili meeting with the Qatari minister Ali bin could be seen. Samij Al Marri together with a message of recognition from the EU “for Qatar’s commitment to continue labor reforms after the World Cup”.

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The S&D group has issued a statement to defend its “zero tolerance” for corruption and ensure that they are “appalled” by the information published in the Belgian press, while calling for the suspension of voting and other work in the European Parliament. related to the Gulf countries.

“Given the seriousness of the suspicions, and until relevant information and clarification is provided by the competent authorities, we request the suspension of work on any filing and plenary vote regarding the Gulf States, in particular visa liberalization and planned visits.” , says the communique released by the European Social Democrats.


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