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EU lawmaker at center of alleged Qatar bribery case to remain in custody


A Greek lawmaker charged in connection with a corruption scheme involving Qatar will remain in detention after her court hearing was postponed on Wednesday.

The vice president of the European Parliament, Eva Kaili, would appear before a judge in Brussels along with three other people. Her lawyer, André Risopoulos, said her hearing was rescheduled for December 22.

Kaili is accused of taking bribes to influence European policy in favor of the Qatari regime. She was detained by police after investigators raided her home and said they found “bags of cash.”

Two suspects, including Kaili’s partner Francesco Giorgi, who is a parliamentary adviser, and Pier Antonio Panzeri, a former parliamentarian and founder of a nonprofit campaign group, were remanded in custody on Wednesday after their court hearing.

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Greek politician and European Parliament Vice President Eva Kaili speaks during the European Book Prize award ceremony in Brussels, December 7, 2022. The top European Union official said on Monday that corruption allegations against a Vice President of the European Parliament are of “maximum concern” and called for the creation of an independent ethics body that encompasses all the bloc’s institutions.
(AP)

Police have carried out more than 20 raids, mainly in Belgium but also in Italy, as part of an investigation into alleged bribery for political favors. Prosecutors said in a statement that they suspect that people “in political and/or strategic positions within the European Parliament received large sums of money or offered substantial gifts to influence Parliament’s decisions.”

Authorities have not identified the Gulf nation suspected of offering cash or gifts to European Parliament officials, but several members have linked the investigation to Qatar, which is in the midst of hosting the FIFA World Cup. .

“The State of Qatar categorically rejects any attempt to associate it with allegations of misconduct. Any association by the Qatari government with the reported claims is unfounded and seriously misinformed,” an official at the Qatari Embassy in Washington, DC, previously told Fox News Digital. .

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Cross said relations between the European Union and any country implicated in the alleged bribery scheme could be affected.

In this photo provided by the Belgian Federal Judicial Police on Wednesday, a part of the .5 million found and seized by Belgian police in Brussels.

In this photo provided by the Belgian Federal Judicial Police on Wednesday, a part of the $1.5 million found and seized by Belgian police in Brussels.
(AP)

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“Trying to influence our decision-making with bribery, if that were confirmed to be the case, that it was related to certain countries, I wouldn’t see how it wouldn’t have consequences on the relationship,” he said. “First of all, the mistake is with people who allow themselves to be bribed. Let’s be clear on that. But it’s not just them. There are always two sides to this.”

Associated Press contributed to this report.



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