Greek EU Parliamentarian Eva Kaili suspended as Vice President over Qatar bribery probe (video)

Eva Kaili

Greek EU Parliamentarian Eva Kaili was suspended in her role as Vice President of the European Parliament on Saturday over a corruption probe implicating World Cup hosts Qatar that has ensnared four others and sparked calls for "root and branch reform" in the EU institution.

European Parliament president Roberta Metsola "has decided to suspend with immediate effect all powers, duties and tasks that were delegated to Eva Kaili in her capacity as Vice-President of the European Parliament," a spokesperson said.

Earlier Saturday, Metsola said on Twitter that the parliament "stands firmly against corruption", adding they would so everything they could to "assist the course of justice".

Socialist MEP Eva Kaili was arrested on Friday hours after four others were detained for questioning.

The announcement came amid mounting outrage over the allegations and calls for action to tackle corruption inside the European Parliament.



Kaili, 44, is the partner of one of the four others detained: Francesco Giorgi, a parliamentary assistant with the European Parliament's Socialists and Democrats group, said the source.

Former Italian MEP Pier-Antonio Panzeri, who served as a socialist in the parliament between 2004 and 2019, was also reportedly arrested.

Belgium's federal prosecutor's office said the investigation concerned suspected "corruption" and "money laundering".

In Rome, a government source confirmed to AFP reports that Panzeri's wife and daughter had been detained.

The arrests followed raids in Brussels which Belgian prosecutors said turned up 600,000 euros ($630,000) in cash. Police also seized computers and mobile phones.