Eva Kaili, the European Union Vice President and member of Greek Socialist party, was arrested Friday in Brussels, Belgium, for alleged corruption.
The Central Office for the Suppression of Corruption arrested Kaili in connection to “criminal organization, corruption and money laundering,” as part of an investigation into lobbying efforts from Qatar, Politico reported. Socialist and Democrat (S&D) members of European Parliament (MEP), including Kaili, who made up the bulk of the arrested, had been noted for their soft stances on Qatar, the outlet reported.
Kaili referred to Qatar as the “frontrunner in labor rights” when she met Qatar’s labor minister, disregarding international concerns about construction practices of World Cup stadiums, according to the outlet.
Kaili’s party, Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), allegedly expelled her following the arrest, Ekathimerini reported.
Investigators from the Federal Judicial Police had allegedly suspected a Gulf country was influencing European politics by “paying large sums of money or offering large gifts to third parties with a significant political and/or strategic position within the European Parliament,” according to an email statement, Reuters reported.
— Le Soir (@lesoir) December 9, 2022
In addition to Kaili, Belgian police allegedly detained newly elected General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation Luca Visentini, former S&D MEP Pier-Antonio Panzeri, and an associate to Kaili identified only as “F.G.,” French news source Le Soir reported. All arrestees aside from Kaili came from Italy.
Authorities allegedly discovered 600,000 euros in cash inside Panzeri’s Brussels residence, the outlet previously reported. (RELATED:REPORT: Kremlin Denies Claims That Putin Defecated Himself After Stairwell Tumble)
In order for police to override an MEP’s immunity during an arrest, authorities must catch them in the act, however the Federal Prosecutor’s Office did not comment on the details of the arrests, the outlet reported.