icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
12 Dec, 2022 14:19

Assets of EU parliament VP frozen

MEP Eva Kaili was arrested on corruption charges linked to a Gulf state
Assets of EU parliament VP frozen

Greece’s Anti-Money Laundering Authority has ordered a freeze on all of the property and financial assets belonging to European Parliament Vice President Eva Kaili and those associated with her, after she was singled out in a corruption probe reportedly related to the ongoing World Cup in Qatar.

The measure, which includes “bank accounts, safes, companies and other financial assets” will also extend to Kaili’s family members, the authority president, Haralambos Vourliotis, said in a statement on Monday.

The move comes after the 44-year-old Kaili, a former TV presenter, was arrested on Friday in Belgium after the country’s Federal Judicial Police said it suspected “a Gulf country” of swaying MEPs with “substantial sums of money” or “significant gifts” to third parties with influence over lawmakers. 

Although Belgian prosecutors have not named the “Gulf country” in question, sources close to the issue have confirmed to AFP and other media outlets that it is Qatar.

The Central Anti-Corruption Office added that authorities have conducted sixteen searches in several Belgian cities and have confiscated over €600,000 ($633,700) as well as “computer equipment and cell phones” amid the probe.

Over the weekend, prosecutors questioned six people including Kaili, her aide F.G, the aide’s former boss and ex-MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, as well as the newly elected secretary general for the International Trade Union Confederation, Luca Visentini. On Sunday, all four were charged with corruption.

Kaili, who is one of more than a dozen of parliament’s vice-presidents, has now been suspended from her responsibilities as VP, suspended by the Socialists & Democrats Group and kicked out from the center-left PASOK party.

Last month, Kaili publicly spoke out in support of Qatar’s recent labor reforms and objected to a European Parliament resolution condemning the Gulf state for the death of workers building the World Cup stadiums as well as other “human rights abuses.” She previously called the Gulf nation as a “frontrunner in labor rights.”