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Wednesday, Jul 24, 2024

Qatargate suspect Eva Kaili to seek to have house arrest lifted soon

Qatargate suspect Eva Kaili to seek to have house arrest lifted soon

The Greek politician also wants to perform her duties at the European Parliament, her lawyer says.
Eva Kaili will soon seek to have her house confinement lifted, her lawyer said, just a day after the politician, one of the main suspects in a corruption probe at the European Parliament, was released from jail to house arrest pending trial.

“We will soon seek for house arrest to be lifted and the [electronic monitoring tag] removed as she is not suspected of running away or other offenses,” her Greek lawyer Michalis Dimitrakopoulos told local Skai TV on Saturday.

He said that Kaili will also seek to “exercise her political duties and rights at the European Parliament.”

The Greek EU lawmaker had been locked up since December, when she became one of the first people arrested and charged with corruption in a sprawling investigation into whether foreign countries, including Qatar and Morocco, were bribing EU lawmakers.

The so-called Qatargate cash-for-influence corruption probe has also ensnared Kaili’s partner, Francesco Giorgi, and several other current and former EU lawmakers, including former Italian MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri — the alleged ringleader of a bribery network who struck a plea deal with Belgian investigators in January.

Since then, all the detained suspects have been released with an electronic monitoring tag, leaving Kaili the last to remain in custody. On Friday morning, she left the Haren prison in the north of Brussels for her apartment on Rue Wiertz, about 100 meters from the European Parliament’s main buildings.

Hours after her release on Friday, Kaili recalled her early days in prison and suicidal thoughts she had.

“There were times when I thought I would end the torment,” Kaili told the Greek To Vima newspaper. “I chickened out,” she added. “The thought of my daughter didn’t let me; [it] supported me, gave me the reason to stand up, to fight to prove that I am innocent, so that my daughter would not be ashamed of me.”

She has maintained her innocence throughout the process and pledged to continue to fight the charges.

“I will not succumb. If I fail to convince the Belgian justice system that I am innocent, I will never return to my country, I will be ashamed to look into the eyes of the people I have been with since I was a high school student,” Kaili told To Vima.
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