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EU corruption scandal: Kylie’s detention extended

For those accused in the European Parliament corruption scandal – Cayley’s partner Francesco Giorgi and former EU deputy Pier Antonio Panzieri – the detention was extended last week. Another suspect was allowed out of prison with an ankle bracelet. Eva Kylie’s lawyer, Michalis Dimitracopoulos, protested his client’s innocence. Kylie “was never bribed.” Only her partner can “provide answers about the existence of this money.”

A second defender, Andre Rizopoulos, said there was active cooperation with investigators. Both defense attorneys have applied for Kylie’s release with electronic ankle bracelets. Meanwhile, in a partial confession to authorities, Kylie reportedly admitted to smuggling bags containing money through her home and that she was aware of her partner Georgie’s activities. Giorgi has already admitted the bribery offered by Qatar. Kylie also admitted to ordering her father to take money from her home to a hotel in Brussels on the day of the raid by Belgian investigators, according to her lawyer.

However, Kylie feels betrayed by her partner, lawyer Dimitracopoulos told the court in Brussels: “She trusted him, he betrayed her.” She is in a bad mental state, according to Kylie’s defense attorney, after spending several hours with her in jail. . According to Greek media reports, Kylie’s two-year-old daughter is with the suspect’s father.

Hundreds of thousands of euros were found

Investigators found €150,000 in the flats of the vice-president of the European Parliament, who has since been impeached on suspicion of corruption, and her partner, Giorgi, who works as an aide in parliament. Another 750,000 were found with Kylie’s father in a Brussels hotel. In all, investigators searched 20 private rooms and offices of deputies between December 9 and 12. And they found another 600,000 euros with the former MEP Panziri.

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The suspects are accused of “belonging to a criminal organization, money laundering and corruption”. It is said that it was pushed by the Gulf state of Qatar to defend its interests. The Gulf state refused to do so.

Investigations also in Greece

On Thursday, the Greek authorities had already confiscated about 7,000 square meters of property from the deputies and their partner on the island of Paros. This became known from Greek legal circles. As a result, a joint bank account the couple used to purchase the property was also confiscated. It is about the suspicion of “accepting bribes and money laundering”.

Commentary of the President of the Union

The scam is spreading far and wide. Panziri, considered the mastermind, is said to have told investigators about other MPs involved. According to media reports, Kylie, too, is said to have denounced Belgian parliamentarian Marc Tarabella as the recipient of “gifts” from Qatar at her hearing.

Pierre Antonio Panzeri, former Member of the European Parliament and father of former Vice-President of the European Parliament Eva Kayli

APA / AFP / European Union / Marc Dossmann

The former MEP Panziri is the central figure in the corruption scandal

The General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Luca Visentini, has been suspended over his alleged involvement in the corruption scandal. He rejected “categorically all allegations made against me.” However, he confirmed that he had received a “cash donation” of “less than 50,000 euros” from the NGO Anti-Impunity, which in turn has been linked to the scandal.

Panziri is the president of this human rights organization. According to the admissions of Kylie and her partner, this may be the focus of payments from third countries to EU decision makers. The presumption of innocence applies to all of those named.

Questions for the EU Commissioner

Due to potential conflicts of interest, former Greek Commissioner to the European Union Dimitris Avramopoulos now had to face questions from the EU Commission. It relates to his work on the Honorary Council for the Fight against Impunity and the acceptance of a donation from this organization. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen ordered thorough investigations into these ties.

In addition to Avramopoulos, former EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and former French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve were also in the honorary chair of the Anti-Impunity Programme. Mogherini accepted the position only after her cooling off period. The current grace period is two years for former EU Commissioners. Avramopoulos resigned from his position after reports emerged that the Anti-Immunity Organization had been implicated in the corruption scandal. According to him, so did Mogherini and Cazenov.