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Greek MEP defends himself against corruption allegations


Embattled in a high-profile Qatar-related corruption scandal, Greek MEP Eva Kelli defended her innocence on Wednesday pending a court verdict, saying she was unaware of the existence of huge sums of money found at her residence.

A Belgian court is to decide on Wednesday whether the former vice president of the European Parliament is still in custody. He is suspected of receiving money from Doha to protect the interests of the Emirates, which is currently hosting the World Cup.

Justice must also rule on whether three other people detained since Sunday, including Cali’s fellow former deputies Pier-Antonio Panzeri and Francesco Giorgi, remain in custody.

Arrested on Friday in Brussels, the 44-year-old socialist lawmaker, stripped of her functions as vice president of the European Parliament on Tuesday, confirmed through her lawyer in Athens that she was “innocent” and was unaware of the existence of Belgium. Bags of tickets found by officers at his home in Brussels.

Eva Kelly “has nothing to do with the money found in her house (…) She was not aware of the existence of this money,” Michaelis Dimitrakopoulos told AFP.


The lawyer insisted his client was “innocent” even though bags containing notes worth 150,000 euros were discovered at his apartment in the Belgian capital, according to a judicial source.

The lawyer, who said she spoke several times on the phone with the detained MEP, said that “only her partner”, with whom she lived, could give “answers about the existence of this money”.

Callie’s father had a suitcase containing 750,000 Euros in cash.

600,000 euros were found at the home of Pier-Antonio Panzeri, a former Italian socialist MEP who currently runs an NGO in Brussels.

Qatar has denied the allegations but a judicial source in Belgium confirmed to AFP that the country was at the center of the Belgian investigation.

Faced with a scandal threatening his credibility, the European Parliament on Tuesday stripped the MEP of his functions as vice-president.

This sanction for “serious misconduct” was approved almost unanimously by the deputies present at the plenary session, i.e. 625 votes out of 628 registered.

Since 2014 MEP Kaili has assumed the position of one of the 14 Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament for eleven months, after having held a seat in the Greek Parliament between 2007 and 2012.

According to sources inside the Greek Pasok-Kinal, the leadership of this formation – already shaken by corruption cases in its history – is also putting pressure on the politician to resign his seat as an MEP.

“to attack”

The leader of Pasok-Kinal, Member of the European Parliament Nikos Androlakis, on Tuesday proposed the creation of a special body “in charge of investigating the assets of MEPs and the way they were” before the full assembly of the European Parliament. acquired.”

The President of the European Parliament called Kelly’s case an “attack” against democracy.

The scandal has also caused an uproar in Greece, where corruption cases plague the country.

Many Greeks expressed their embarrassment at seeing the former television presenter embroiled in controversy.

The Greek Anti-Money Laundering Authority froze the financial assets of Kaili and her relatives.

The Greek press also highlighted the relationship between Kaili and the well-known Greek-Russian magnate Ivan Savidis, owner of, among other things, the PAOK football club in Thessaloniki and a former deputy in the Russian Duma.

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