European Parliament Vice President Eva Kaili was arrested this month for allegedly accepting large sums of money to interfere on behalf of Qatar and Morocco. The scandal could affect political relationships.
The scandal in the European Parliament involving four suspects who were arrested on charges of bribery and fraud is far away from being over. The 44-year-old Greek MEP, Eva Kaili, is believed to be the head of the illegal operation. Despite denying any wrongdoing and repeatedly claiming she is innocent, prosecutors contend she accepted large “donations” in return for influence.
A few days ago, she reportedly admitted that she had asked her father to take a large sum of money from her home, but Belgian police found around 150,000 euros in her apartment in Brussels. Her father was arrested as well, and he was found with a large suitcase full of money in his possession. He has since been released. Eva Kaili’s partner, Francesco Giorgi, who was also arrested, is still in prison.
Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, her lawyer, declared for a local radio station in Greece that his client was with her partner in a garage when she found out from him what the suitcase contained. She claimed her partner’s former boss, Antonio Panzeri (who has also been arrested) was responsible. Kaili allegedly called her father and told him to take the suitcase to a hotel where someone would collect it. He was arrested shortly after.
Her initial hearing is scheduled for December 22nd.
The Scandal Could Affect Europe’s Ties with Qatar
After the European Union turned its back on Russia following the war with Ukraine, Qatar became the leading exporter of natural gas in the world. Qatar now has the power to decide whom they want to do business with. Qatari officials have not threatened any countermeasures against the EU, but a senior diplomat warns that they might not take the situation lightly in the near future.
The whole scandal involving the arrests in the European Parliament centers around alleged bribery concerning Qatari and Moroccan influence in the EU. They have, of course, denied any involvement. EU decided to suspend legislative work for Qatar, but not for Morocco. This is seen as a “disappointment” by Qatar. The administration in Doha is ready to come out with a public statement on the recent negative press coverage.
Qatar is an important supplier of LNG as well as a significant investor in a time when the energy crisis is felt more than ever.