EU corruption scandal: Accused Kaili released from prison


Deposed EU Vice President of Parliament placed under house arrest. Happy to see her daughter again.

Deposed in the corruption scandal surrounding the European Parliament Vice President Eva Kaili was released from a Belgian prison after a good four months. The 44-year-old Greek woman left Haren detention center in northern Brussels on Friday. The judiciary has ordered her to remain under house arrest in her Brussels apartment, where she is being monitored with an electronic tag.

“My daughter is waiting for me and I am very happy to be able to see her again,” Kaili told reporters about the reunion with her two-year-old child. She spoke in her native Greek and English as she pulled up in a black Mercedes with tinted windows in front of her home near the European Parliament in Brussels.


The biggest corruption scandal in the history of the European Parliament involved bribes worth several hundred thousand euros from countries such as the Gulf Emirate of Qatar and Morocco. While the Social Democratic Vice-President of Parliament continues to deny having accepted any money, her partner Francesco Giorgi, a member of the European Parliament, has already admitted to having received money. He is also under house arrest with ankle cuffs. Cash worth several hundred thousand euros was also found on Kaili’s father.


Since the affair was uncovered in December last year, investigators have also targeted former Italian MP Pier Antonio Panzeri and the head of a charity, Niccolo Figa-Talamanca. Above all, the Kingdom of Morocco is said to have smuggled the funds through him. Officially, the NGO “Fight Against Impunity” is committed to human rights.



Kaili is considered the face of the corruption scandal. Investigators accuse the former TV presenter of accepting gifts and bribes from Qatar. Kaili denies the allegations.

Kaili, her partner Francesco Giorgi and other suspects were arrested in early December as part of the corruption investigation. Investigators say they found pockets full of cash on Kaili’s property. According to Belgian judicial circles, the investigators found 150,000 euros in the shared apartment with Giorgi and another 750,000 euros from Kaili’s father in a Brussels hotel.

In total, the investigators secured 1.5 million euros during the searches. The European Parliament dismissed Kaili as Vice President in mid-December after the affair became known. She also lost the parliamentary seat of her socialist party Pasok in Greece.

With Kaili’s release, all five suspects in the scandal are now under house arrest. The Belgian judiciary accuses them of corruption, money laundering and membership in a criminal organization. In addition to Qatar, Morocco is said to have tried to influence EU policy with gifts of money. Both countries reject the allegations.

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