The European Parliament has this Tuesday ended the mandate of its vice-president Eva Kaili, accused by Belgian prosecutors of accepting bribes from Qatar. A few hours earlier, the conference of presidents had already agreed to end the mandate of the Greek MEP, but they needed the support of the European Parliament. Shortly after 12 noon this Tuesday, voting began in the chamber on the impeachment of Kaili, which was approved almost unanimously, with more than 600 votes in favour and one against. Through her social media, the president of the Parliament, Roberta Metsola, announced that the decision was effective immediately.
In view of the ongoing investigations,@Europarl_EN has decided that Eva Kaili is no longer one of its Vice-Presidents.— Roberta Metsola (@EP_President) December 13, 2022
This decision is effective immediately.
We will continue to fully cooperate with relevant national law enforcement and judicial authorities.
Prior to the vote, the conference of presidents of the European chamber had already decided to take her dismissal before the MEPs. "I cannot predict how it will all end, but after the initial findings, the story will not end here," said Metsola, adding that the European Parliament "will not cease" when it comes to pursuing corruption. The president of the chamber did not rule out that there may be more cases, and in this line she affirmed that the institution "will not lower its guard" and will prevent third countries from seeking to influence the decisions of the European chamber.
La integridad de @Europarl_ES es lo primero y lo más importante.— Parlamento Europeo en España (@Europarl_ES) December 13, 2022
Hoy a las 12:00 horas, el Parlamento Europeo votará la propuesta unánime de la Conferencia de Presidentes de poner fin al mandato de la vicepresidenta Eva Kaili. https://t.co/sG0byWg9dj
Kaili pleads not guilty
For her part, Kaili has denied all the accusations and relationship with Qatar. This is what one of her lawyers, Mijalis Dimitrakópulos, indicated this Tuesday. "She has nothing to do with the financing of Qatar, nothing, explicitly and unequivocally. That is her position," the lawyer assured. Currently, the Greek social democratic MEP is suspended from all her functions both in her country and in the European Parliament. She and four other people are in pre-trial detention on charges of alleged participation in a criminal organization, money laundering and corruption in relation to an Arab country.
Kaili, 44, is part of the more conservative wing of the Greek social democratic party, PASOK-Kinal, and entered the Greek Parliament as an MP in 2007. Since 2019, she has been an MEP and in the past two years has doubled her bank deposits, according to her annual asset declarations, available on the website of the Greek Parliament.
Belgian police have found more than 1.5 million euros in cash
Over the last few days, since the emergence of the four-month investigation around the former vice-president of the European Parliament, Eva Kaili, and the former Italian Socialist MEP, Pier Antonio Panzeri, the Belgian police have found more than 1.5 million of euros in cash at the addresses of the two. On the one hand, investigators found around 600,000 euros at Panzeri's home, while the rest of the money was found in the home of Eva Kaili and her partner Francesco Giorgi, as well as in the hands of the father of the former vice-president of the European chamber.