Qatargate, Kaili lawyer: “Tortured like in the Middle Ages”

The lawyers’ complaint: “Left in the cold with the light always on, she could not wash. These acts violate the European Convention on Human Rights”

Eve Kaili, former Vice President of the European Parliament, was subjected in a state of preventive detention to “torture”, worthy of the “Middle Ages”. This was stated by the lawyer of Greek politics, Mikhalis Dimitrakopoulos, at the end of the closed session at the Palais de Justice in Brussels. “From Wednesday 11 January to Friday 13 January – she explains – she was in solitary confinement, on the orders of the investigating judge, Michel Claise. For 16 hours she was in a police cell, not in prison, in the cold”. “She was refused” other clothes, “they took her jacket. This is torture. The light – continues Dimitrakopoulos – was on continuously, and she was unable to sleep. This is torture. She was unwell, with profuse bleeding, without being able to wash. This is torture. Eva Kaili is accused, but there is always the presumption of innocence. We are in Europe: these acts violate the European Convention on Human Rights, these years unfortunately are the Middle Ages. Please publish all this I hope for a fair trial: we are in Europe,” he says.

As for the reasons why Kaili was placed in solitary confinement, lawyer André Rizopoulos explains, “for the moment, the defense has no other lead than to say that the judicial authorities have found that solitary confinement was a good way to avoid what, while Panzeri was negotiating his repentance procedure. I have no other elements than the fact that seeing these two events taking place in parallel. I realized it later. If so, I find it quite shocking”.

In Belgium, he continues, “isolation is extremely rare, it is used in mafia crimes: if it is motivated solely to protect I don’t know what. I wasn’t there: I was just in hearing. When they told me ‘it is absolutely necessary that she stays with the Federal Police, because there is another hearing’, the only thing I could say is that it is a legal possibility to stay over there, but it is very exceptional. But the next morning nothing happened particular”.

When asked if the defense intends to file a complaint, Rizopoulos explains that “on the legal initiatives that can be taken, I start from the assumption that every actor in the judicial scene plays his role loyally. I start from this assumption, because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to do my job correctly. Before filing a complaint for inhuman and degrading treatment, I want to know what really happened. We will know, because the investigations will become transparent. They are not transparent at the beginning, but they will become so. We will see. For now, we act as if every actor in the judicial case acted in a framework of loyalty I was very surprised by the development of operations last week and by the fact that I did not see in the dossier, made available to us until two days before the council meeting, elements that justify it”, he explains . Kaili, Dimitrakopoulos continues, “is innocent” and “has had no collaboration with Pierantonio Panzeri. For Kaili, lawyer Rizopoulos adds, “we asked for him to be released from prison and for the adoption of alternative measures, such as an electronic bracelet or other similar measures. For the moment, Mrs. Kaili is the only politician to be detained. She is being held in difficult conditions. She’s extremely worrying.”

“I would just like you to understand the effect that” the agreement signed with the Belgian prosecutor by Pierantonio Panzeri “may have on Eva Kaili, since she was able to see her 23-month-old daughter twice in six weeks, in prison For us there is a real breakdown of the appropriate measures in relation to the situation”, underlines Rizopoulos again. If the arrests for Kaili are confirmed, he adds, she will not be able to see her baby before “February”, underlines the lawyer.

In the context of the investigation into suspected corruption aimed at influencing the EU decision-making process, “for now, the person who pays the highest price is Eva Kaili and it doesn’t seem normal to us”, the lawyer reiterates.

“A balance must be made – continues Rizopoulos – between the interests of the investigation, which are always legitimate, and the effective measures that are taken to protect the investigation. We would not want Ms. Kaili to become the most deeply and hardest hit in the end from harsh detention, since it is certainly not at the center of the dossier. It is something that seems unbearable to us and that we have represented in the council chamber. Obviously we will not go into the details of the dossier”.

By signing a collaboration agreement with the Public Prosecutor’s Office, “Mr. Pierantonio Panzeri is buying himself a future. It’s fine and as a lawyer I understand it perfectly”, says the lawyer again. “He now knows what the end of his prison term is; he knows who are the people he has decided to protect, and he’s fine: probably his family in the first place,” he concludes.