Greek MEP and former vice-president of the European Parliament Eva Kaili, who is suspected of corruption, remains in custody, the court in Brussels decided today. Eva Kaili’s lawyers can appeal the decision within 24 hours.
The court took into account the prosecution, which opposed the alternative forms of detention proposed by Eva’s lawyers Kaila. As one of them told reporters, Andrew Risopoulos, the prosecutor’s office is convinced that in her case there is both a risk of flight, collusion with third parties and a risk of destroying evidence. Another of her lawyers, Mihalis Dimitrakopoulos, meanwhile criticized the conditions in the Brussels police cell, where she recently spent one night, for the media. The conditions are said to be reminiscent of the Middle Ages.
Detention otherwise Kaila serving time in the city jail Haren and a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice said that detainees at the recently opened prison are housed in their own cells with showers.
Here Kaila was ousted by MEPs from the post of vice-president in mid-December after she found herself at the center of a corruption scandal related to attempts by Morocco and Qatar to influence parliamentary decisions. As part of the corruption investigation, Belgian investigators conducted more than 20 investigations, some also in Italy and the premises of the Parliament in Brussels, and seized 1.5 million euros. Four are detained, besides Kaila also a long-time former MEP Antonio PanzersItalian parliamentary assistant Francesco Giorgiotherwise partner Kailaand head of the NGO No Peace Without Justice, Italian Niccola Figo-Talamanca.
They are suspected of membership in a criminal group, money laundering and corruption. They are said to have received large sums of money from Qatar to influence political statements and decisions in the European Parliament in favor of the emirate, especially regarding workers’ rights. Qatar and Morocco strongly deny the allegations.