EU official remanded in custody over corruption charges
Three other suspects have been charged and remanded in custody during the Belgian investigation.
Greek MEP Eva Kaili was charged with corruption on Sunday and remanded in custody after Belgian investigators discovered "bags of cash" in her home.
This comes after Kaili was suspended as Vice-President of the European Parliament yesterday over "corruption allegations involving Qatar" at the World Cup.
Belgian police are investigating alleged corruption allegations that figures working on behalf of Qatar paid huge bribes to European politicians in order to influence the policy debate in Brussels.
Kaili, who has publicly expressed support for Qatar's recent labor reforms, was one of four suspects charged and detained. Two more have been released, and investigators have searched at least one more MEP's home.
The Belgian federal prosecutor's office did not disclose the identity of the four, but a judicial source confirmed to AFP that Kaili was among those charged.
"Four individuals have been arrested by the Brussels investigating judge who is leading the investigation," the federal prosecutor's office stated.
"They are charged with participation in a criminal organisation, money laundering and corruption. Two persons have been released by the investigating judge."
The arrests came after raids in Brussels yielded 600,000 euros ($630,000) in cash, according to prosecutors. Computers and mobile phones were also seized by police.
'Bags of cash'
The second raid on an MEP's home is thought to have involved a Belgian member, as the parliament's president, Roberta Metsola, was invited to witness the raid.
The person of interest was identified as Marc Tarabella, a Belgian socialist and vice-chair of the parliamentary delegation "for relations with the Arab peninsula." However, he hasn't received any charges yet.
Under the Belgian constitution, the European Parliament President must attend if one of the country's MEPs is targeted by a search, Metsola's office confirmed.
A spokesperson confirmed Metsola returned from Malta to Brussels late Saturday to be present.
On his part, the EU Economics Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said during an interview on Italy's Rai 3 that the case appeared to be "very serious".
“If it were confirmed that someone took money to try to influence the opinion of the European Parliament, it would really be one of the most dramatic stories of corruption in recent years,” EU Commissioner added.
The possible background of the case might be the European Parliament voting on letting i.e. Qatari citizens enter the Schengen countries without a visa.
Qatar, on its part, has repeatedly denied all such accusations.