Qatargate: "Eva Kaili feels betrayed by her partner," says her lawyer

Francesco Giorgi eva kaili Qatargate

The lawyer Michalis Dimitrakopoulos had a meeting with his client, Eva Kaili, for about four hours on Wednesday night.

At the meeting, which took place in the prison of Haren in Belgium where the Greek MEP is being held, her other lawyer, Andre Rizopoulos, was also present in order to determine her line of defence regarding the charges she is facing for the Qatargate scandal.

In his statements after the meeting, Dimitrakopoulos said that Eva Kaili is in a bad psychological state and troubled, while she  alsofeels betrayed by her partner, Francesco Giorgi.

"We spent many hours with Mrs. Kaili. It is a day when her personal freedom is judged and there is no greater good than freedom," he added.

"I will not make any statement about the substance of the case. Tomorrow, it will not be examined whether she is guilty or innocent, but whether she should be released or remain in prison," he further commented.

The lawyer added that Eva Kaili "is neither a suspected fugitive nor can she tamper with the evidence of the investigation."

Eva Kaili is at the centre of a spiraling investigation into alleged corruption by Qatar, which has rocked the European Parliament. She was arrested by Belgian police in a series of raids that found, among other things, €150,000 at her own apartment.

New confession from Giorgi

Meanwhile, the revelations surrounding Qatargate, which has thoroughly shaken the European Parliament, are taking the form of an avalanche. And this is because the information coming to light from the European press ahead of Kaili's testimony today is causing a political earthquake.

As reported by La Republica, Eva Kaili's Italian partner, while describing the "Qatar plan" to the public prosecutors, referred to yet another NGO, while revealing that the role of Mauritania was suspect.

According to an article in Italy's Il Fatto Quotidiano, Giorgi said there was also an agreement with Mauritania, similar to the one with Qatar and Morocco.

Giorgi had the rent of his apartment paid to the amount of 1,500 euros per month, plus 300 of expenses.

Giorgi, a parliamentary assistant, told federal police and Belgian magistrate Michel Claise that Qatar paid bribes through an "Algerian" contact, Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano reported on Wednesday, quoting three long court documents.

He also reportedly spoke about a mechanism allegedly used by Morocco to pay bribes, about a meeting with Saudi officials, of another NGO involved to finance Fight Impunity, the Human Rights Foundation, and claimed that his partner, Greek MEP Eva Kaili, "wasn't part of the network", although she knew about the money.

Speaking about how bribes were allegedly paid by Qatar, Il Fatto Quotidiano said Giorgi told investigators that he received a contact from an "Algerian".

"He works for the government of Qatar and is called Boudjellal. He put me in contact with a person in Turkey, I think he was of Palestinian origin", Giorgi reportedly said.

The latter gave him a phone number in Belgium: "I was supposed to call him to have the money", he reportedly said. The contact was always different.

"Each time, I canceled the numbers so I wouldn't leave any evidence behind. The total changed, it is difficult for me to estimate it, they decided", said Giorgi of the money, explaining that these contacts occurred "two or three times a year".

For Morocco, instead, bribes were allegedly paid in cash by Abderrahim Atmoun, Rabat's ambassador to Poland, according to the report.

"He brought the money occasionally, not in a regular way", he noted, adding the sums allegedly totaled "a few tens of thousands of euros."

"I think the total estimate is 50,000 euros", said Giorgi. "Atmoun came to Brussels, or we went to Paris, to his apartment Di Lui. When we went to get money, we said that we were going to get ties or clothes".

The parliamentary assistant also reportedly claimed that Morocco offered more: "In December, Atmoun wanted to pay a trip to Marrakesh for me, for (Italian former MEP) Panzeri and our respective families".

"I hesitated a little at the beginning, then I said yes. We had also spoken about Eva's sister and brother-in-law," he said.

Giorgi also reportedly spoke about an alleged agreement, for smaller sums, with Mauritania, which had "problems" with its image.

"I rented my apartment to the ambassador and that was my compensation: 1,500 euros + 300 of expenses. Panzeri took 25,000 in cash," Eva Kaili's partner said.

"We went to the embassy of Mauritania a week ago and we met with their ambassador and the Saudi one, who wanted information on what was being said in the European Parliament about his country," he said.

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