Qatar, L’Echo: “Sacks of banknotes at Eva Kaili’s house”

The vice president of the European Parliament was detained, despite immunity, in the context of the investigation for alleged corruption in flagrante delicto

Some “sacks of banknotes”, writes the Belgian newspaper L’Echo, were allegedly found in the Brussels house of the vice-president of the European Parliament Eva Kaili. Kaili was therefore arrested as part of the investigation for alleged corruption in flagrante delicto, which explains why parliamentary immunity was not triggered, which is lost in these cases.

Eva Kaili was expelled from Pasok on Friday. The group of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, communicates the group, “has taken the decision to suspend the membership of MEP Eva Kaili from the S&D group with immediate effect, in response to ongoing investigations”.

THE INVESTIGATION, THE STOPS AND THE ARRESTS – Yesterday four other people, including the former Italian MEP of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group Antonio Panzeri and the secretary general of the International Confederation of Trade Unions (Ituc) Luca Visentini, were detained as part of an investigation by the Belgian judiciary on a criminal organization “infiltrated the heart of the European Parliament and is suspected of interference in EU politics and of corruption by Qatar”. This was revealed by the newspapers ‘Le Soir’ and ‘Knack’, according to which on Friday morning “the federal judicial police carried out 14 searches in various municipalities in Brussels, in particular in Ixelles, Schaerbeek, Crainhem, Forest”.

The investigation, reports Le Soir, is being conducted by Michel Claise, a magistrate specializing in financial crimes, and has been going on for at least four months. The suspicion is that Qatar has paid sums of money and made “important” gifts to people who occupy “strategic positions” in the European Parliament. The prosecution does not explicitly mention the Gulf country, but multiple sources confirmed to Le Soir and Knack that it is the country currently hosting the soccer World Cup.

The wife and daughter of the former Italian MEP of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group, Antonio Panzeri, involved in an investigation by the Belgian judiciary for corruption by Qatar, were arrested today by the Carabinieri in the province of Bergamo on a warrant of arrest arrived from Belgium.

PANZERI AND MOROCCO – Former S&D MEP Antonio Panzeri is suspected by the Belgian authorities of having intervened “politically”, but “for a fee”, with some people who work in the European Parliament, for the benefit not only of “Qatar”, but also of “Morocco” . This is what emerges from one of the documents transmitted by the Belgian authorities to Italy, in relation to the request for the arrest of the daughter of the former trade unionist, Silvia Panzeri. Officially, the Belgian authorities have not even confirmed that the pressures concerned Qatar, but limited themselves to speaking of a “Country of the Gulf”. The document specifies that the “presumption of innocence” still applies. Panzeri’s daughter and wife appear “fully aware” of Panzeri’s activities, according to Belgian investigators.