Qatar has once again said that it is not involved in a corruption case being investigated by Belgian authorities, in which people linked to the European Parliament are implicated.
Four people connected to the European Parliament have been charged by Belgian authorities after Qatar allegedly lavished them with cash and gifts in an attempt to influence decision-making. Qatar has previously denied any wrongdoing. One of the four people arrested was the European Parliament’s Vice President, Eva Kaili, a Greek MEP.
The president of Fight Impunity, former Italian MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, also was charged in the case, according to Le Soir. An unnamed lobbyist also was charged, it said. The four will remain in custody.
Kaili’s father, who was also detained in the probe, was released, as was trade union leader Luca Visentini, according to the reports.
Kaili was suspended from her role as vice president of the European Parliament after she was arrested in the probe, a spokesperson for Parliament President Roberta Metsola said on Saturday.
Following her arrest on Friday, Kaili was suspended from the S&D group in the Parliament. She also was expelled from the center-left Pasok party in Greece.
Preconceived notions of Qatar’s corruption led the European Parliament to vote last Thursday to halt all work on legislation relating to Qatar, according to a Qatar mission to the EU diplomat.
The suspension might affect several legislative files related to visa liberalisation, an EU-Qatar air traffic agreement, and future visits until the allegations are proved or dismissed.
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