Athens, Dec 13 (EFE).- Eva Kaili’s lawyer on Tuesday denied the former European parliament vice president received bribes from Qatar after she was arrested on corruption and money laundering charges.
“She has nothing to do with financing from Qatar, nothing – explicitly and unequivocally. That is her position,” Kaili’s lawyer, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, said on Open TV in Greece.
The lawyer added that Kaili had “undertaken no commercial activity in her life.”
On Monday Greek authorities froze the EU lawmaker’s assets, and those of her close relatives, over their alleged links to illegal activities.
Kaili was arrested on Sunday on corruption charges for allegedly receiving hefty bribes from Qatar to influence EP policy regarding the World Cup.
A judge in Belgium charged her and another three people — including her partner, Italian Franceso Giorgi — for their involvement in a criminal organization engaged in corruption and money laundering.
After conducting 16 searches over the weekend, Belgian investigators searched several offices of the European parliament in Brussels on Monday to seize computer data from 10 parliamentary staff, according to the country’s federal prosecutor’s office.
Belgian prosecutors reported that 600,000 euros ($632,470) were seized at the home of one suspect, 150,000 euros at the home of one MEP who is being investigated as well as several hundred thousand euros that were found in a suitcase in a Brussels hotel room.
In a statement published on Saturday, Qatar denied any wrongdoing: “The State of Qatar categorically rejects any attempts to associate it with accusations of misconduct. Any association of the Qatari government with the reported claims is baseless and gravely misinformed.”
The European parliament on Tuesday voted to dismiss Kaili, after she had been suspended with “immediate effect” at the weekend by EP president Roberta Metsola.
Kaili, 44, has been expelled from the Social Democratic parliamentary group, and the Greek social democratic party, PASOK-Kinal, with whom she became an MP in 2007, has also terminated her membership.
She had been a European lawmaker since 2019.
Before becoming a politician, Kaili was a presenter at MEGA TV.EFE