Belgian court extends detention of ex-MEP Eva Kaili

Sat, 4 Mar 2023 11:25 GMT
Kaili last week requested her release from prison with electronic bracelet.
Belgian court extends detention of ex-MEP Eva Kaili

The Belgian appeal court has decided to extend the pre-trial detention of a former European Parliament vice president by two months, Greek media reported on Friday.

Eva Kaili appeared before the Brussels Court of Appeal on Feb. 28 and requested her release from prison with an electronic bracelet, but the court rejected her request, said public broadcaster ERT.

The court also rejected Belgian European lawmaker Marc Tarabella’s request for his release from prison.

"As part of a wide-ranging investigation by the Federal Prosecutor's Office into alleged acts of organized crime, corruption, and money laundering, E.K. and M.T. appeared on February 28 before the indictment at the Brussels Court of Appeal,” the court said in a statement.

It added that the preventive detention of these two suspects was extended by two and one months respectively.

Corruption scandal

The EU has been shaken by one of the biggest corruption scandals in its history after Kaili, a Greek MEP, was arrested on Dec. 9 by Belgian police on corruption charges.

Kaili, 44, from Greece's center-left PASOK-KINAL party and one of the European Parliament's 14 vice presidents, was arrested after her home was searched on corruption charges allegedly involving Qatar, which was accused of paying Kaili to lobby for the Gulf state's interests.

Also, up to €1.5 million ($1.62 million) in cash was seized by the Belgian police across dozens of home and office searches. In addition, parliamentary computers were also confiscated to protect important data.

Those detained alongside Kaili also included Italian European Parliament Deputy Pier Antonio Panzeri, Kaili's partner Francesco Giorgi, who worked as an assistant in the European Parliament, and Niccolo Figa-Talamanca, the director of the non-governmental organization working on rule of law.​​​​​​​


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