EVA KAILI ARRESTED! One of four people charged with money-laundering and corruption

MEP Eva Kaili.

Greek MEP and former Vice President of the European Parliament Eva Kaili is one of the four people who was arrested by a Brussels federal prosecutor on Sunday and charged with money-laundering, corruption and participating in a criminal organisation.

According to articles in the newspapers "L'Echo" and "Soir", and not mentioning any specific names, the Brussels federal prosecutor's office said that four people were placed under arrest for the above charges, out of six detained during raids by the federal police on Friday.

"There are suspicions that individuals in political and/or strategic positions within the European Parliament were paid large sums or offered substantial gifts to influence the decisions of the Parliament," the announcement said.

Two of the six people detained were released - including Kaili's father who was caught leaving the hotel with a suitcase full of cash - while the home of a second MEP was raided on Saturday night, the announcement noted, adding that no further information will be released at this time to facilitate the investigation.

Kaili was detained on Friday as part of a major corruption probe by Belgian authorities into an alleged illicit influence campaign by Qatar.

According to "Le Soir" and the magazine "Knack", Kaili's partner Francesco Giorgi, a parliamentary assistant, was also detained on Friday and was under arrest, as well as the former Socialist and Democrats MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, while a Brussels lobbyist identified as 'F' remains in prison.

The second person detained and later released on conditions was the Secretary General of the International Trade Union Confederation, Luca Visentini, according to 'Le Soir'.

According to 'Le Soir' and 'Knack', the second raid on Saturday night was at the home of Belgian MEP Marc Tarabella, while European Parliament President Roberta Metsola was also confirmed to have asked to be present during the raid, as required by Belgian law for lawmakers elected in Belgium.

For his part, addressing a meeting of the PASOK-KINAL opposition on Sunday, party leader Nikos Androulakis referred to his decision to expel Kaili after the developments in Brussels and stressed that he will not tolerate anyone or anything getting in the way of the party's success in the next elections.

"I have no commitments or debts to anyone. I will not compromise with those that have hurt the party in the past...behaviours that impede the party's upward course will not be tolerated," he said.

Androulakis insisted on his criticism of ruling New Democracy with respect to Kaili, claiming that she had been preparing to switch to ND's ranks, and accused the government of attempting to link the surveillance of his phone to the criminal case that has now arisen.

He called on the prime minister to allow full light to be shed on the case and said that he had decided not to include Kaili on the party's ticket in the next European elections and had informed the Party of European Socialists of this decision.

Androulakis said he had not expelled Kaili sooner because she was a PES shadow rapporteur in the PEGA committee and he did not want to create the impression that he was seeking to affect its decision.

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