Qatargate: "She pleads not guilty," says Eva Kaili's lawyer in Greece

Eva Kaili Qatargate

Through her lawyer Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, Eva Kaili declared her innocence regarding the accusations of her involvement in Qatargate.

Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, speaking on OPEN TV, emphasised that the former Vice President of the European Parliament declares her innocence and insists that she has nothing to do with the accusations against her.

"Her position is that she is innocent. It has nothing to do - explicitly and unequivocally - with financing from Qatar, this is her position," he said, adding: "I have no idea if any money was found or how much was found."

"All I can tell you, because I talked to her sister, is that there is no crib for the baby, where the money was found hidden. I deny this to you explicitly, because her sister, Mrs. Magdalena Kaili, also told me," the lawyer told the Greek television station.

As for Eva Kaili's father, Alexandros Kaili clarified that no conditions were imposed on him by the Belgian authorities and that "he is free if he wants to go to Greece", but " when a father sees his child in such a difficult position, he stays by them".

Her pre-trial detention will be decided on Wednesday

The feeling is now widespread in the corridors of Strasbourg and Brussels that the case of Qatar ("Qatargate"), with the involvement of the Greek MEP and former - as of yesterday - Vice-President of thethe  EP, Eva Kaili has opened "Pandora's Box" in the European superstructure.

With the Greek MEP at the heart of this political thriller, the first pre-trial leg of the case will be decided on Wednesday. Then, the judge will decide whether or not to remand Eva Kaili until the trial begins.

It is recalled that Belgian law has significant differences from Greek law, such as the status of pre-trial detention.

Far from the traditionally festive December Plenary in Strasbourg, the Christmas atmosphere has given way to a deep reflection on the development of the investigations, as the contacts and overall activities of four more MEPs have been targeted by Brussels Prosecutors, according to the La Stampa newspaper.

In addition, the intense activity of the Italian former MEP, Antonio Panzeri in Morocco, who allegedly plays a central role in Qatar's attempt to infiltrate the European decision-making centres, opens new avenues for the prosecuting authorities.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said yesterday that allegations of corruption against the vice-president of the European Parliament are of the “utmost concern."

New raid

In parallel with the political ramifications, the police authorities of Belgium carried out a new round of raids and investigations yesterday, having carried out a total of 20 raids since last Friday on the offices and residences of MEPs, parliamentary assistants and other involved persons.

At the same time, the information systems of ten parliamentary staffs from the services of the European Parliament remain "frozen" so that there is no loss of critical information, while the offices of Eva Kaili and her partner, Francesco Giorgi, remain sealed in the European Parliament building.

On the "worst day" of her career, as she confessed yesterday, the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, addressed the Plenary in dramatic tones, sounding the alarm for the future of the institution.

"The European Parliament, dear colleagues, is under attack. European democracy is under attack. And our way of open, free, democratic societies are under attack," said Ms. Metsola, adding that "we are Europeans. We would rather be cold than bought.

Committing, at the same time, that there will be no "impunity" in the background of the Qatar case, the President of the EP claimed that "there will be no sweeping under the carpet."

"We will launch an internal investigation to look at all the facts related to the Parliament and to look at how our systems can become yet more watertight. There will be no business as usual. We will launch a reform process to see who has access to our premises," she added.

Four months of investigations

Meanwhile, the Belgian Prosecutor's Office returned to the case yesterday with more details, announcing that the investigation, which has been ongoing for over four months, for corruption, money laundering and participation in a criminal organization, while continuing.

"Several hundreds of thousands of euros were seized in three different places: 600,000 euros at the home of a suspect, several hundred thousand euros in a suitcase found in a hotel room in Brussels and approximately 150,000 euros in an apartment belonging to a member of the European Parliament," the statement said.

Because of this, the Greek MEP is expected to appear before the investigative authorities tomorrow, in order to decide whether she will be remanded in custody until her trial (in 1-1.5 years) or will be released on condition.

Meanwhile, the head of the Anti-Money Laundering Authority, Honorary Deputy Prosecutor of the Supreme Court, Charalambos Vourliotis, yesterday ordered the freezing of the assets of Kailis, her husband, her parents and her immediate relatives (e.g. siblings), in order to identify, if any, sums of money and gifts that may be linked to money laundering, following the latest developments in Brussels.

The Greek authorities have also targeted a company that was created a month ago with the purpose of trading and exploiting real estate, which was identified by the Anti-Money Laundering Authority in the name of Eva Kaili and her husband.

The company is based in Kolonaki on Skoufa Street and has already been seized, while an audit is being carried out for its general activity.

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