EU Member of Parliament Eva Kaili, who is suspected of corruption, remains in prison for the time being. The competent court in Brussels extended the detention of the former Vice President of the European Parliament by a month on Thursday, the competent public prosecutor announced. The 44-year-old Greek woman can appeal the decision.
The Belgian judiciary has been investigating suspected corruption, money laundering and influence from abroad for months in the vicinity of the European Parliament. It is said that the Gulf Emirate of Qatar is said to have tried to influence political decisions with gifts of money and goods. According to reports, Morocco tried to do the same.
Kaili and three other suspects were therefore taken into custody on December 11. They are charged with involvement in a criminal organization, money laundering and corruption. A magistrate ruled last week that two of them must remain in prison while they are being held on remand.
These are Kaili's partner, who works as an MEP's assistant, and former Socialist MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri. Another suspect was allowed out of prison with the condition of an ankle bracelet. Kaili's lawyers had also advocated for their client.
Kaili's lawyer affirms his client's innocence
"Eva Kaili is innocent," confirmed her lawyer Michalis Dimitrakopoulos on Thursday before the Brussels court. The day before he had told Greek journalists that the former TV presenter was in poor mental health. She feels betrayed by her partner, Dimitrakopoulos said after speaking to Kaili for several hours in prison. "She trusted him, he betrayed her."
Kaili herself has so far denied any guilt and blamed her partner for the large amount of cash in the shared apartment. At the same time, however, according to her lawyer, she admitted, among other things, that on the day of the raid by Belgian investigators, she had instructed her father to bring cash from her apartment to a Brussels hotel.
Before Thursday's hearing, Dimitrakopoulos stressed that Kaili was not at risk of absconding, nor was it possible for her to destroy evidence. Another argument is that Kailis' two-year-old daughter is now effectively an orphan because both parents are imprisoned. According to Greek media reports, the child is with his grandfather, the suspect's father.