The provisional prison for the former vice president of the PE Eva Kailí for Qatargate is extended for two more months

Eva Kailí

A Belgian court has extended the pre-trial detention of the Greek Social Democratic MEP and former Vice President of the European Parliament Eva Kailí for two more months, accused of a criminal organization, corruption and money laundering in the bribery scheme in the European Parliament linked to Morocco and Qatar.

Kailí, 44 years old and who has been in prison for 84 days, appeared last Tuesday before an appeals court in Brussels, to request his release with an electronic bracelet for the fourth time.

“As part of a large-scale investigation by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office into suspected acts of a criminal organization, corruption and money laundering, EK and MT appeared last February 28 before the prosecution chamber of the Brussels Court of Appeal. The preventive detention of these two suspects has been extended for two and one months, respectively,” the Prosecutor’s Office reported in a brief statement.

The other defendant is the Belgian socialist MEP, Marc Tarabella, also been in prison since the European Parliament lifted his immunity in early February.

Kailí alleged, among other reasons, that she has a two-year-old daughter whom she can only see twice a month and denounced having suffered humiliating treatment in prison.

Her partner and father of her daughter, parliamentary assistant Francesco Giorgi, accused of the same charges as Kailí, was released on February 23 with an electronic bracelet.

At the beginning of February, the Italian lobbyist and general secretary of the NGO No Peace Without Justice, Niccolo Figa-Talamanca, had also been released under probation.

The ringleader, Antonio Panzeri

On the other hand, the alleged ringleader of the corrupt plot, the former Italian MEP Antonio Panzeri, who has agreed with the Prosecutor’s Office for a lesser sentence in exchange for detailing the operation of the bribery network and pointing out others involved, remains in prison for now.

Kailí, Giorgi, Figa-Talamanca and Panzeri were arrested on December 9 in the framework of a series of raids on different buildings and homes in Belgium in which the agents seized more than one and a half million euros in cash, computers and mobile phones.

The MEP and dismissed vice president of the European Parliament was arrested in that operation despite enjoying parliamentary immunity because the investigators considered that she was committing a flagrant crime since they found large sums of cash in her house and caught her father leaving a hotel in Brussels with a suitcase full of money.

The police also searched the home in Anthisnes, in southern Belgium, of Belgian Socialist MEP Marc Tarabella, but found no evidence to allow his immediate arrest.

For this reason, they asked the European Parliament to withdraw parliamentary immunity from Tarabella and also from the Italian Social Democratic MEP Andrea Cozzolino in order to formally investigate them.

Once the plenary session of the European Parliament withdrew this judicial protection, the police arrested Tarabella on February 10, searched her home again, and seized a safe deposit box that she had in her name in a bank in Liège.

According to leaks published by the Belgian press, Tarabella’s entourage, whom Panzeri has denounced as being involved in the plot, insisted today that he is “innocent, has nothing to be ashamed of and has never received money or gifts in exchange for his opinions.” “, while congratulating himself that he will be “shortly transferred to a prison closer to his family.”

Cozzolino’s defense, under house arrest in Naples (southern Italy), last Tuesday questioned whether the Belgian Justice could guarantee him a fair trial for giving credit to the “inventions” of his accuser, Panzeri. The hearing to decide on the Euro-warrant sent by the Belgian Justice for the extradition was then postponed to next March 14.