The scandal surrounding possible corruption in the EU Parliament is spreading: Belgium's judiciary has issued four arrest warrants - one of which is apparently aimed at Parliament Vice President Kaili. The house of another MP is also being searched.
In connection with the corruption scandal in the European Parliament, the Belgian judiciary has issued arrest warrants against four suspects. "You are accused of involvement in a criminal organization, money laundering and corruption," said the public prosecutor in Brussels. However, they do not mention names. According to information from the AFP news agency, the arrested parliamentary vice president Eva Kaili was also taken into custody. The agency relies on legal circles.
As the newspaper "Le Soir" and the magazine "Knack" reported, an arrested former social democratic MEP from Italy, Antonio Panzeri, and Kaili's Italian partner are also in prison. According to the public prosecutor's office, two other arrested persons were released by the investigating judge. In addition, the house of another MEP was searched on Saturday evening. No further details will be given at this time, it said. There was also no information on the identity of the other MP.
The background is one of the biggest corruption scandals in the history of the EU Parliament. It is about investigations into suspected bribery and corruption, money laundering and attempts to influence political decisions by the Emirate of Qatar, the host of the current World Cup. There were at least 16 searches on Friday and six arrests over the weekend.
According to the Belgian federal prosecutor's office, the police confiscated cash in the amount of around 600,000 euros as well as data carriers and mobile phones during the raids. According to information from the Belgian newspaper "L'Echo", the investigators had found "several sacks full of banknotes" in Kaili's apartment.
As a consequence of the allegations, the Greek socialist Pasok party expelled Kaili from its ranks on Friday. On Saturday, the Socialist Group in the European Parliament announced that the 44-year-old former TV presenter's membership had been suspended.
EU Parliament President Roberta Metsola finally declared that Kaili would lose "all powers, duties and tasks" as her deputy with immediate effect. The decision has yet to be formally confirmed by Parliament. According to information from parliamentary circles, Metsola wants to discuss Kaili's complete dismissal as one of the 14 vice-presidents in the European Parliament with the leaders of the parliamentary groups on Monday.