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Qatar Gate: European parliament VP Eva Kaili arrested for bribes

Featured Qatar Gate: European parliament VP Eva Kaili arrested for bribes

The developments in "Qatar Gate", the major corruption case that is shocking the European Parliament, are stormy. Europarliament VP Eva Kaili is facing serious charges. Kaili is among the four who were remanded in custody.

A large amount of cash was found in bags and a suitcase at her home. However, the money has not yet been counted, as it has reportedly been sent for a "technical check". And as investigations continue, the total amount of the bribes remains unknown.

All four people, however, according to information, are already in prison as arrest warrants have been issued against them. However, there is no official information and confirmation from the Belgian authorities.

According to first reports, the arrested have been transferred to the prisons of Saint-Gilles and things seem to be quite difficult for Eva Caili and the other three arrested.

Also, it became known that Eva Kaili's father, who was found in the hotel where she was staying with a suitcase full of cash, was released, as was Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, who was also released but conditionally.

According to the announcement of the Prosecutor's Office "out of a total of six brought in, only two people were released by the investigator". Among those arrested is Eva Caili's partner, Francesco Giorgi, who was an associate of the also arrested former MEP, Pier Antonio Panzeri.

The charges and the crucial decision

The pair, along with two other people, the ring's alleged "mastermind" and former MEP, Pierre Antonio Panzeri, and a Brussels lobbyist, are accused of being part of a criminal organization, money laundering and corruption.

According to the procedure, Eva Kaili, like the others, will remain in prison for 48 hours and then appear again before the authorities, who will decide whether they will remain in custody until the trial of the case or whether they will be released.

There will be three criteria: If they are suspected of fleeing, if they will be suspected of committing the same or similar crimes, or if there will be collusion, that is, if they find the people who will succeed in erasing their tracks and finally acquit them in court. It will take about one and a half years until the start of the process.

The investigations are expanding

As the tangle of the case unfolds, the investigations expand: in the presence of the President of the European Parliament herself, the authorities raided the house of the MEP, Mark Tarabella. According to Le Soir newspaper, his mobile phone and computer were confiscated.

Also, in addition to the search at Tarabella's house, there is information indicating that a search was also made at the house of the also Belgian MEP Marie Arena, also in the presence of Roberta Metzola as provided by Belgian law, because they are elected in Belgium. However, it is expected that the scope of investigations will be extended to other persons within the European Parliament.

On a political level, the plenary meeting of the European Parliament is expected today, with the MEPs being angry and demanding immediate action.

The Italian media, for their part, are focusing on Panzeri. As they write, he was the mastermind of the financing scandal. Meanwhile, Repubblica reveals that together with his partner Kaili "allegedly had the first contacts with Qataris, during the period 2016-2018". The Belgian authorities believe that the Italians received money on several occasions. In fact, they informed the Italian authorities that Panzeri lobbied for Morocco as well.

The interest of the Belgian authorities is now focused on the way the bribe money is transported and distributed and on the other hand Qatar's ambitions through bribery, the most important of which seems to be the lifting of visas (visa waiver), in order for Qatari citizens to travel freely in the EU.