Home NewsAfrica European Parliament sacks vice president Kaili over Qatar graft scandal | News24

European Parliament sacks vice president Kaili over Qatar graft scandal | News24

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  • Greek EMP Eva Kaili is accused of accepting bribes from Qatar.
  • Over 600 MEPs voted to deprive Kaili of her vp function, with just one voting towards and two abstaining.
  • Kaili is one in every of 14 vice presidents within the European Parliament.

The European Parliament eliminated Greek MEP Eva Kaili as a vp of the meeting on Tuesday after she was accused of accepting bribes from Qatar in one of many largest graft scandals to hit Brussels.

Kaili has denied any wrongdoing, however European lawmakers have moved quickly to isolate her, worrying that the Belgian investigation will badly dent the meeting’s efforts to current itself as a sound ethical compass in a troubled world.

“There can be no sweeping below the carpet. Our inside investigation will take a look at what has occurred and the way our programs may be made extra watertight,” European Parliament President Roberta Metsola stated as 625 MEPs voted to deprive Kaili of her VP function, with just one voting towards and two abstaining.

Kaili, who’s in police detention, was one in every of 14 vice presidents within the parliament.

Belgian prosecutors charged her and three Italians on the weekend of participating in a prison organisation, cash laundering and corruption.

A supply near the investigation has stated they’re believed to have pocketed cash from World Cup host Qatar. The Gulf state has denied any flawed doing.

Police have raided quite a few buildings in Brussels, together with parliament workplaces and 19 properties, discovering round 1.5 million euros ($1.58 million), a few of it stashed in a suitcase in a lodge room, a supply near the investigation stated.

READ | EU parliament’s credibility rocked by Qatar bribe claims

Kaili’s lawyer in Greece, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, stated on Tuesday that she was harmless. “She has nothing to do with financing from Qatar, nothing, explicitly and unequivocally,” he informed Open TV in a primary public remark.

A number of MEPs nonetheless known as for the 44-year-old Socialist politician to stop the meeting altogether.

“Given the extent of the corruption scandal, it’s the least we may count on of her,” stated MEP Manon Aubry, who co-chairs the Left group.


Nations which have confronted criticism from the meeting stated it had misplaced the ethical excessive floor.

“Any further the European Parliament will be unable to talk about corruption in a reputable method,” Hungary Overseas Minister Peter Szijjarto wrote on Fb.

Belgian prosecutors stated that they had suspected for greater than 4 months {that a} Gulf state was making an attempt to purchase affect in Brussels. Though no state was publicly named by prosecutors, a supply with information of the case stated it was Qatar.

Not one of the 4 folks charged have been formally recognized, however their names had been quickly leaked to the press.

Based on a supply conversant in the case, the opposite accused are former EU lawmaker Pier Antonio Panzeri, Kaili’s accomplice Francesco Giorgi, who’s a parliamentary assistant, and Niccolo Figa-Talamanca, secretary-general of a human rights marketing campaign group.

There have been no replies to calls and emails made by Reuters to their respective workplaces or properties.

Kaili was amongst a steady of younger aspiring Greek politicians who emerged within the debilitating debt disaster which swept Greece from 2010 to 2015. The Greek socialist PASOK celebration has stated it can expel her from its ranks.

In a speech within the European Parliament on 21 November, initially of the month-long World Cup, she lashed out at Qatar’s detractors and hailed the energy-rich Gulf state as “a frontrunner in labour rights.”

Qatar has confronted fierce criticism of its human rights report within the run as much as the World Cup, together with its therapy of migrant employees.

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