Corruption scandal: MEP denies €1.5 million bribe

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 Corruption scandal: MEP denies 1.5 million euro bribe

Greek MEP Eva Kaili denies involvement in an alleged European Parliament bribery scandal involving World Cup host Qatar.

She is one of four suspects who have been charged after Belgian investigators found and confiscated 1.5 million euros in two houses.

MEPs voted 625 to one to strip Ms Kylie of her role as one of the 14 vice presidents.

Parliament Speaker Roberta Metsola spoke of “difficult days for European democracy.”

Qatar denies any wrongdoing.

that it has nothing to do with a bribe from Qatar”, — Her lawyer Michalis Dimitrakopoulos told Greek TV on Tuesday.

Prosecutors conducted a series of searches over the course of several days and said they found around €600,000 in cash at one suspect's home, €150,000 in an MEP's apartment and €750,000 in a suitcase in a Brussels hotel room.

When asked if money was found in Ms Kylie's apartment, her lawyer said, “I have no idea if any money was found or how much was found.”

The suspects arrested by Belgian police have been charged with “participation in a criminal organization, money laundering and corruption,” prosecutors said on Sunday. They will appear in a pre-trial court on Wednesday.

as well as in Brussels. Since Friday, the IT resources of 10 parliamentary staff have been “frozen” to prevent the disappearance of data needed for the investigation.

Parliament, sitting in Strasbourg, on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly Kylie VP position.

She was also suspended from membership in the parliamentary group of Socialists and Democrats and expelled from the Greek centre-left Pasok party.

The Greek authorities froze assets belonging to her, her husband and immediate family.

A real estate company set up about two weeks ago by an MEP and her husband in Athens has also been frozen.

Six people were detained Friday as part of an investigation into allegations that Qatar bribed EU officials to gain influence. Two were later released.

Three other defendants — It is reported that among the defendants is Ms Kylie's partner, Francesco Giorgi, who is an aide to the parliamentarian.

Sources say former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, who now heads the human rights group Fight Impunity, is also one of the four. It is reported that his wife and daughter were also arrested.

Another suspect, according to the Italian news agency Ansa, is Niccolò Figa-Talamanca, head of the No Peace Without Justice lobby group.

The head of the International Trade Union Confederation's general secretary, Luca Visentini, was questioned and later released. he said he was able to answer all the questions put to him.

Prosecutors said they suspect the Gulf State had been influencing parliament's economic and political decisions for months.

The World Cup in Qatar is truly proof of how sports diplomacy can bring about a historic transformation of a country through reforms that have inspired the Arab world.

Last month, while other colleagues drew attention to human rights violations in Qatar, Kylie gave a stormy speech to Parliament praising Qatar for hosting the World Cup and for its role in the field of labor rights".

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