The Greek MEP Eva Kaili is one of the four people who have been placed under arrest by a Brussels federal prosecutor on Sunday and charged with money-laundering, corruption and participating in a criminal organisation, according to articles in the newspapers “L’Echo” and “Soir”.
In an announcement that does not mention specific names, the Brussels federal prosecutor’s office said that four people were placed under arrest for the above charges, out of six detained during raids by the federal police on Friday.
“There are suspicions that individuals in political and/or strategic positions within the European Parliament were paid large sums or offered substantial gifts to influence the decisions of the Parliament,” the announcement said.
Two of the six people detained were released – including Kaili’s father who was caught leaving the hotel with a suitcase full of cash – while the home of a second MEP was raided on Saturday night, the announcement noted, adding that no further information will be released at this time to facilitate the investigation.
Kaili was detained on Friday as part of a major corruption probe by Belgian authorities into an alleged illicit influence campaign by Qatar.
According to “Le Soir” and the magazine “Knack”, Kaili’s partner Francesco Giorgi, a parliamentary assistant, was also detained on Friday and was under arrest, as well as the former Socialist and Democrats MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, while a Brussels lobbyist identified as ‘F’ remains in prison.
The second person detained and later released on conditions was the Secretary General of the International Trade Union Confederation, Luca Visentini, according to ‘Le Soir’.
According to ‘Le Soir’ and ‘Knack’, the second raid on Saturday night was at the home of Belgian MEP Marc Tarabella, while European Parliament President Roberta Metsola was also confirmed to have asked to be present during the raid, as required by Belgian law for lawmakers elected in Belgium.