The Belgian MEP, Marc Tarabella, who was held as a suspect in the "Qatargate" corruption scandal, was released yesterday under electronic surveillance, leaving the Greek MEP and former Vice-President of the European Parliament, Eva Kaili, as the only one imprisoned for the same case.
The socialist MEP was the latest in the cycle of releases for the much-lauded case, as they preceded those of both Eva Kaili's partner, Francesco Giorgi, and the alleged "mastermind" of the case, former Italian MEP Pie-Antonio Panzeri, as both have cooperated with the Belgian authorities.
Tarabella's release from prison was confirmed to Euronews by his lawyer, explaining that the Belgian MEP will return to his home, but he will be under electronic surveillance (wearing a bracelet), like the rest of those involved, who were released.
Although, however, a request for her release from prison with electronic monitoring was also submitted by the Greek MEP, Eva Kaili, she was kept behind bars as a "trophy" of the prosecutor, according to her advocate, Sven Marie.
At the same time, Eva Kaili will not confess in order to get out of prison, her lawyer said, insisting on her innocence and blaming the Belgian authorities for the harsh attitude they are showing towards the Greek MEP.
"It is high time that Ms Kaili is released and that her presumption of innocence is respected," said Sven Marie to Euronews, adding that "there is no longer any reason to keep Ms Kaili in prison."
In this light, her lawyers intend to request tomorrow for he unconditional release after more than four months of detention in Haren prisons.
In contrast, however, to Kaili, her colleague and also involved in the case, Marc Tarabella managed to be released from prison, although under house arrest for the next period, until he secured his full release during a hearing, next month.
It should be noted that the European Parliamenthad voted to lift the immunity of the Belgian MEP, while he was also deleted from the Eurogroup of Socialists and Democrats.
However, he was arrested two months, and is accused of corruption, money laundering and participation in a criminal organisation, as he and others involved are accused of trying to influence the European Parliament through cash payments and other privileges.
According to the authorities, the alleged head of the organisation, the former MEP, Pier-Antonio Panzeri, told the investigators that Tarabella had accepted bribes of 140,000 euros from him, in exchange for influencing parliamentary work related to Qatar.
It is recalled that Pier-Antonio Panzeri, who has entered into an agreement with the Belgian authorities and admitted his guilt, was also placed under house arrest. Marc Tarabella has not admitted any guilt, a fact that has encouraged the lawyers of Kaili, who maintains the same attitude, denying all accusations.
In this context, the attitude of the Belgian judicial authorities towards Eva Kaili, who will once again appear before them tomorrow, is open to the possibility of being different, in the wake of the reactions of the international press.
In other words, the newspaper "Liberation" intervened in the case of the detention of Kaili, lambasting Belgian Justice for its behaviour towards a young mother. They claim the refusal of the Belgian Authorities to release her is the fact that the Prosecutor is retiring and wants a glorious end to his career.
"Cases like Ms Kaili's are considered as a trophy or a symbol and they are shown like the World Cup," her lawyer claimed.
"Ms Kaili is lifted as a symbol to say: 'Even if you hold high office, you will remain in prison.' And this is made especially to say to the other lawmakers: 'Do not commit corruption because you will go to prison for a long time.'"
Given that her new release request is being examined tomorrow, Eva Kaili asserted that "I will never confess to crimes I have not committed, even if they tear me to pieces", speaking to ANT1, a few days before her next hearing from the Belgian authorities and after the decision to release the co-accused and considered "brain" of the ring, Pier-Antonio Panzeri, without hiding the fact that she feels clearly wronged.
For this reason, "in the coming judicial council we will fight to prove Panzeri's unreliability. We will have strong new evidence that will confirm that Eva Kaili is innocent," says her advocate, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, stressing that she "feels a sense of injustice seeing the protagonists are free, at home and Eva Kaili who gives battle for her innocence to be inside.
"It is a provocative contradiction that we see in the Belgian justice system," he added.
According to Dimitrakopoulos, "Panzeri's release from prison is the product of a transaction, he agreed to lie against Eva Kaili and the exchange was to be released. The one who is the leader of the criminal organisation," he concluded.