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MEP Eva Kaili set to be ousted as Qatar corruption probe widens


Greek MEP Eva Kaili is expected to be expelled from the European Parliament today.

Kaili, embroiled in a corruption probe that allegedly involves World Cup host Qatar, saw her term as an MEP come to an end on Tuesday morning, according to European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.

Kaili’s ousting will be confirmed if at least two-thirds of MPs back his impeachment in a vote later on Tuesday.

It comes after Belgian police carried out further raids on Monday, including one at an office of the European Parliament, as the corruption probe widened.

In a press release, the Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office indicated that the computer resources of ten parliamentary agents had been “frozen” to avoid the “disappearance of the data necessary for the investigation”. They added that the purpose of the search in the European Parliament was “to seize this data”.

The bloc’s leading politicians have strongly condemned the corruption scandal rocking the EU legislative body. The President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, spoke of the “enemies of democracy for whom the very existence of this Parliament is a threat, nothing will stop them”.

“In total, 20 searches have been carried out since the start of the operations, including 19 in private homes and one in the offices of the European Parliament”, concluded the Belgian investigators.

The sums seized during the searches carried out so far are spectacular: “€600,000 at the home of one of the suspects, several hundred thousand euros in a suitcase in a hotel room in Brussels and approximately €150,000 in an apartment belonging to a member of the European Parliament”, according to the federal prosecutor’s office.

In a strong speech, Metsola spoke of “malicious actors, linked to autocratic third countries [that] allegedly armed NGOs, trade unions, individuals, assistants and Members of the European Parliament”.

Four people arrested, including Kaili, have been charged with corruption and money laundering.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the EU’s chief executive, said the charges against Kaili threatened the trust European citizens have in the institutions of the 27-nation bloc.

She said the independent ethics body she proposed would cover lobbying activities with the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament, as well as the European Central Bank, the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Auditors.

Doha dismissed any allegations of misconduct saying “any association of the Qatari government with the reported allegations is baseless and grossly misinformed”.

Watch our video report in the player above.

euronews Gt

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