Eva Kaili feels ‘betrayed’ by her partner over Qatargate
MEP is due in court on corruption charges Thursday to decide whether she can be released from jail.
Greek MEP Eva Kaili feels betrayed by her boyfriend, her lawyer said on Wednesday ahead of her first court hearing in Brussels.
“She feels betrayed by her partner, she trusted him, he betrayed her,” said Kaili’s Greek lawyer Michalis Dimitrakopoulos. At this moment, he is not obliged to make any statement on the substance of the case, the lawyer added.
Kaili is at the center of a spiraling investigation into alleged corruption by Qatar, which has rocked the European Parliament and triggered deep soul-searching in Brussels. She was arrested by Belgian police in a series of raids that found, among other things, €150,000 at her own apartment.
Kaili is due in court Thursday to decide whether she will remain in custody pending trial.
Dimitrakopoulos, who traveled to Brussels to be present at the MEP’s hearing, said she should be released.
Speaking to Greek media, after meeting with Kaili in prison for four hours, he said he could not predict what would happen but there are many legal arguments supporting her release from jail. “She is neither a suspected fugitive nor can she tamper with the evidence of the investigation,” he said.
On Tuesday, Dimitrakopoulos said Kaili asked her father to take money from her home, adding that despite this he is convinced of her innocence.
Kaili’s partner, Francesco Giorgi, is among the four people who have been arrested on preliminary charges of corruption, money laundering and participation in a criminal organization. Authorities suspect that the accused took cash or gifts in exchange for promoting the interests of foreign countries such as Qatar in the EU Parliament.
On Tuesday, Kaili’s lawyer gave reporters a taste of her defense. He said Kaili did not know Giorgi was holding cash and that she tried to get the money sent back to where it belonged. At one point, she told her father to take the cash. He was later found by police carrying a suitcase stuffed with money as he left a hotel.