The horizon darkened Thursday for Greek MEP Eva Kyli, who has been embroiled in corruption charges at the European Parliament involving Qatar.
Sacked as European Parliament vice-president on Tuesday, the 44-year-old elected Socialist is currently being held in Belgium as part of a “corruption, money laundering and criminal organization file” within the European institution.
The affair sent shock waves in Brussels and Strasbourg, prompting Assembly President Roberta Metzola to announce “major reforms” for 2023.
Ms. is the subject of a preliminary investigation by the Athens financial prosecutor’s office for “corruption” and “money laundering” in cooperation with Belgian justice. Kylie, we learned Thursday from a Justice Department source.
But in a new front, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday demanded that his parliamentary immunity be lifted, as well as that of another Greek MEP, Maria Spyraki. .
The doubts follow a report by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).
“I gladly accept the lifting of my immunity to demonstrate that not a single euro is in dispute”, MEP Maria Spiraki from the EPP (European Right) responded in a press release. +Qatar Gate+”.
Like ex-MEP Pier-Antonio Panzeri, who has been implicated in a corruption investigation directed at Brussels, Ms. Kylie’s boyfriend, Francesco Giorgi, is also in custody.
A third man, Niccolò Figa-Talamanca, head of the NGO “No Peace Without Justice”, was due to be released wearing an electronic bracelet.
International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) general secretary Luca Visentini, who was in police custody for 48 hours in the case before being released on Sunday, has resigned from his post pending a general meeting of the ITUC’s council next week, the union has announced. Thursday.
During a European summit in Brussels, the president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metzola, announced that she was “in the process of finalizing a package of far-reaching reforms that will be ready early next year.”
He specifically mentioned strengthening the protection of whistleblowers and banning unofficial friendship groups with third countries.
“There are gaps that need to be filled, such as the activities of former members of the European Parliament, entries in the Transparency Register, and those authorized to enter the European Parliament,” he told a press conference.
In a plenary session in Strasbourg, MEPs for their part voted unanimously on Thursday for a text that “insists on the suspension of access permits for representatives of Qatari interests” while judicial investigations are underway. The decision rests with Ms Metzola.
A Maltese official has already indicated that the NGO “No Peace Without Justice” has suspended its access.
Saying they were appalled by these acts of corruption and money laundering, MEPs decided to suspend “work on all Qatar-related legal files”, the first being the visa liberalization and airline deal for Qatar and Kuwait.
At the end of the judicial inquiry, MPs lobbied the European Parliament to “create a commission of inquiry (…) into cases of corruption and abuse of third countries”.
French representative Manon Aubry (extreme left) commented that “it is time to finally make progress on the issues of transparency and ethics”, “relentlessly condemning the dangerous connections of elected officials and lobbyists that weaken the trust of citizens”.
Responding to a question, Roberta Metzola told a press conference that she had rejected Qatar’s invitation to participate in the FIFA World Cup. “I refused because I care about this country,” he said.
He said he had held two meetings with representatives of the Qatari government in Brussels and “declined” the country’s request to address the European Parliament.
Doha has denied involvement in any bribery attempt.