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Eva Kaili, the MEP in Qatar-linked corruption case, to stay in detention

Brussels, BelgiumEdited By: Manas JoshiUpdated: Dec 23, 2022, 02:10 PM IST
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(Image: @EvaKaili) Vice President of European Parliament Eva Kaili. Photograph:(Twitter)

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Her lawyer has said that Kaili is "not a flight risk and not in a position to destroy evidence". 

Eva Kaili, the Greek Member of European Parliament (MEP), who is at the centre of corruption scandal with links to Qatar, was denied release from pre-trial detention on Thursday (December 23). Earlier this month, Kaili (44) was arrested in Belgium along with three others. She has claimed innocence and had asked for a hearing for her release. The request for release has been denied.

Her lawyer, Andre Risopoulos, told AFP that she would not appeal the decision, meaning that she will remain in custody for at least another month while investigations continue.  

Risopoulos had told reporters before the court's decision that Kaili was "cooperating in an active manner" with the Belgian investigation and was willing to wear an electronic device to track her movements if she were released. 

Kaili, a former newsreader, was removed from the post of vice-president of European Parliament earlier this month after police action.

Qatar officials have insisted the Gulf monarchy played no role in any wrongdoing. 

Another of Kaili's lawyers, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, on Wednesday told reporters she feels miserable, "very troubled" and betrayed by her boyfriend and co-accused Francesco Giorgi. 

He argued that Kaili was "not a flight risk and not in a position to destroy evidence". 

She was arrested on December 9 as Belgian police, searching a number of addresses, found 1.5 million euros ($1.6 million) in cash.  

Kaili was charged shortly afterwards and has been in detention since. 

Another three suspects -- her partner Giorgi; the head of an NGO allegedly used to funnel money; and a former MEP-turned-lobbyist, all of them Italian -- were also arrested. 

All four are charged with "criminal organisation, corruption and money laundering". 

(With inputs from agencies)

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