European Parliament VP detained in Belgium corruption case
The Vice President of the European Parliament was detained for a probe into possible corruption in Belgium.
European Parliament Vice-President and Greek political Eva Kaili was detained on Friday in Brussels as part of a corruption probe, the Belgian edition of Le Soir reported.
Reportedly, the competent authorities conducted a search at Kaili's place of residence, also detaining her partner as both are being investigated in a corruption case.
Kaili was expelled from the Panhellenic Socialist Movement - Movement for Change (PASOK-KINAL) party in connection with an investigation into the corruption of European officials, as said by the party.
Four people, including a former MEP, were detained on Friday in Belgium, as part of an investigation into corruption and money laundering by an unidentified Gulf country at the EU parliament, the federal prosecutor's office said.
No specific nation has been specified, but Belgian daily Le Soir said Qatari officials tried to corrupt an Italian Socialist who was a European parliament member from 2004 to 2019.
Investigators have for several months "suspected a Gulf country of influencing the economic and political decisions of the European Parliament, and this by transferring consequential sums of money or giving sizeable gifts to third parties with a significant and/or strategic position within the European Parliament," the prosecutor's office said.
Allegedly, according to the police, this was done "by paying large sums of money or offering large gifts to third parties with a significant political and/or strategic position within the European Parliament."
"Among those arrested is a former member of the European Parliament," it added but did not provide further details on the identity of those detained.
On Friday, the police carried out 16 raids in Brussels and seized "600,000 euros in cash", which is equivalent to $633,500, as well as computer equipment and mobile phones to examine their contents.
The EU parliament’s press service did not comment on the raids, and an investigation was underway. The press service said the assembly was cooperating fully with Belgian police.