Eva Kaili alleges Freemasonry, rights violations and conflicts of interest in Qatargate investigation

Eva Kaili

"There is no evidence against me; there is only the presumption of guilt," said the MEP in an interview on an Italian television channel

Eva Kaili expressed her belief that in the investigation into the Qatargate scandal, there were "flagrant violations of European law" and a complete absence of the presumption of innocence and impartiality of the judges in an interview she gave to the show Quarta Repubblica, which was aired yesterday by the Italian Retequattro channel.

According to the ANSA news agency, which published excerpts of the interview, the MEP referred to the judges' ties to Freemasonry and the resulting conflicts of interest, as a result of which the guarantees that exist in Italy do not apply to her case.

"Here there was and is only the presumption of guilt," said the former vice-president of the European Parliament, declaring that she was determined to prove her innocence, as it will be seen that there is no evidence to support the accusations against her.

It is recalled that an MEP was accused by the Brussels Public Prosecutor's Office of being at the centre of a bribery network in the European Parliament, led by former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, resulting in his detainment for six months (including the period spent under house arrest) before being released parole free.

Panzeri's former right-hand man and Kaili's ex-partner, Francesco Giorgi, had a similar fate.

"To put pressure on me in the first few days, I was told that my daughter would be taken over by social services, all to make me confess to something I didn't commit," Kaili explained, also denouncing the harsh pre-trial detention regime.

"It is unacceptable that such violations of rights are happening in the heart of Europe ... I asked to speak to the European Parliament, but this has not happened yet, and I think it is right that the citizens know what has happened before the European elections," she said.

Kaili also referred to Qatargate investigator Michel Claise, who was forced to resign from the case due to suspected conflicts of interest after it was revealed that his son and MEP Maria Arena's son had a joint venture, specifically a medical cannabis company.

A few days ago, Claise announced his candidacy for the parliamentary elections in Belgium.

"I think that facing a judge who has shown that he has political ambitions, who was forced to retire due to a conflict of interest and who handled the case in this way, raises serious questions for all citizens about the whole Qatargate investigation," noted the MEP.

Kaili, Italian former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, along with two others, are facing charges of corruption and money laundering in relation to alleged payments from Qatar and Morocco.

Panzeri has agreed to work with Belgian authorities in exchange for a reduced sentence. Qatar and Kaili have denied wrongdoing. Morocco has complained of “judicial harassment” after the graft probe, which has been dubbed “Qatargate.”

Kaili’s former partner, Francesco Giorgi, confessed to taking bribes, and said he suspected MEP Marc Tarabella of receiving money from Qatar, according to a source close to the investigation. Giorgi’s lawyer declined to comment.

According to the report compiled to lift Taraballa’s immunity, a Belgian investigation showed that he “may have been involved in acts of corruption connected with interference by one or more foreign states aimed at influencing the debates and decisions taken in the European Parliament.”

It said that “testimony against him suggests that such payments were made to him on several occasions, amounting to a total of between” €120,000 and €140,000.

The scandal came to light in December 2022 after authorities launched a series of raids across Brussels, and in Italy, seizing hundreds of thousands of euros.

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