Europe’s Parliament Hit By Qatar Corruption Scandal; Several Arrests

Monday, December 12, 2022 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , ,

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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

BRUSSELS (Worthy News) – Four people have been charged in an investigation into one of the biggest corruption scandals to hit the European Parliament, the European Union’s legislature after they allegedly received bribes from Qatar.

Greek European legislator Eva Kaili, the European Parliament’s vice president, was among those previously detained in the case.

Prosecutors suspect Qatar tried to influence parliament decisions with donations of money or gifts, charges the Gulf State denies. Qatar was previously accused of corruption, including in its bid to host the 2022 football World Cup.

The country denied the allegations and was cleared of corruption by the world’s soccer federation Fifa.

Kaili has been suspended from her duties as one of 14 vice presidents and from the parliament’s Socialists and Democrats Group, officials said. She was also expelled from the Greek center-left Pasok party.

President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola flew from her native Malta to Brussels late Saturday to witness the search of
a legislator’s house, several sources said.

Metsola said she had “decided to suspend with immediate effect all powers, duties, and tasks that were delegated to Eva Kaili.”


Her spokesman added that the European Parliament “stands firmly against corruption” and is “fully cooperating” with investigators.

Cash worth about €600,000 ($632,000) was reportedly seized by Belgian police in 16 searches in Brussels over the weekend. Computers and mobile phones were also taken to examine their contents.

A total of six people were detained for questioning, two of whom have been released. “Four individuals have been arrested by the Brussels investigating judge leading the investigation,” the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

“They are charged with participation in a criminal organization, money laundering, and corruption. Two persons have been released by the investigating judge.”

The suspended Kaili has been a defender of Qatar. She even called Qatar a “frontrunner in labor rights” despite reports that many workers died while building stadiums and other infrastructures related to the soccer World Cup in the Gulf Stare.

Minority Christians, including many migrant workers, also face severe persecution for expressing their faith, according to a recent Worthy News investigation.

Kaili also praised Qatar for abolishing kafala, a legal framework used in several Gulf states, which human rights organizations compare to modern slavery. “The World Cup in Qatar is proof, actually, of how sports diplomacy can achieve a historical transformation of a country with reforms that inspired the Arab world,” she stressed.

She claimed European legislation discriminated against Qatar, adding: “They accuse everyone that talks to them or engages [with them] of corruption.”

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