Arrested Eva Kaili makes partial confession in EU corruption scandal

Updated on 12/20/2022 at 3:27 p.m

  • Eva Kaili made a partial confession.
  • The former vice-president of the European Parliament has reportedly admitted that she knew about the hidden cash.
  • Her lawyer had previously claimed the opposite.

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The arrested former Vice President of the European Parliament According to media reports, Eva Kaili made a partial confession in the EU corruption scandal. As the daily newspapers “Le Soir” and “La Repubblica” reported on Tuesday, citing investigation documents, the 44-year-old Greek woman admitted, among other things, that she had instructed her father to hide large amounts of cash before she was arrested.

“She states that she knew about her husband’s activities with Mr. Panzeri in the past and that suitcases with money were smuggled through her apartment,” the investigating judge is also quoted from the documents.

The Belgian judiciary has been investigating suspected corruption, money laundering and influence from abroad for months in the vicinity of the European Parliament. It is said that the Gulf Emirate of Qatar is said to have tried to influence political decisions with gifts of money and goods. According to reports, Morocco tried to do the same.

Eva Kaili is in custody in Belgium

Belgian investigators have arrested several people in the case since December 9. Kaili is currently in as well Belgium in custody like her partner and former Italian MEP Antonio Panzeri. According to media reports, Kaili’s partner has already made a confession. Panzeri, who was previously an assistant in the office of an Italian MEP, admitted to having been part of an organization through which Qatar and Morocco wanted to interfere in European affairs. In addition, Kaili’s partner accused Panzeri of being the head of the alleged organization.

The Italian judiciary approved the extradition of Panzeri’s wife to Belgium on Monday. According to the Ansa news agency, the defenders of the 67-year-old want to appeal the decision. On December 9, investigators found 600,000 euros in cash in Panzeri’s apartment.

The responsible court in Brescia adjourned the decision on the extradition of Panzeri’s daughter on Tuesday to January 3rd. Her lawyers had demanded that the prison conditions in Belgium be examined first. The Belgian judiciary accuses the daughter of knowing about her father’s alleged machinations. According to media reports, she did not comment on this at the hearing on Tuesday.

Kaili has so far maintained her innocence

Kaili herself had previously protested her innocence through her lawyer. Her father was arrested by investigators on December 9 while trying to hide a suitcase full of cash in a Brussels hotel after she had warned him about a large-scale operation by Belgian investigators. Kaili also tried to warn two MEPs, write “Le Soir” and “La Repubblica”.

When asked by the two newspapers, her lawyer André Risopoulos said that he was personally outraged that they had access to the documents. He did not confirm that the testimony was a partial confession. Risopoulos had previously stated Kaili didn’t know anything about the money hidden in her apartment.

That EU-Parliament had the Greek officially deposed as vice president on December 13. The Belgian judiciary wants to decide this Thursday whether Kaili should remain in prison. An appointment in the past week for the detention review had been postponed at short notice. (dpa/ank)

Teaser image: © IMAGO/ANE Edition/Giannis Panagopoulos

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