Vice President of the European Parliament, Eva Kaili, who has been under investigation by Belgian authorities for corruption allegations related to Qatar since Friday, has temporarily had her delegated tasks from President Roberta Metsola revoked.
Eva Kaili is the one, who during a speech at the European Parliament, said that Qatar was a “front-runner in labour rights”.
Five people, including Eva Kaili, were arrested on Friday in Brussels, following at least sixteen searches as part of an investigation into allegations of “significant” money transfers by a Gulf country to influence the decisions of MEPs. The federal prosecutor’s office did not name the country, but multiple reports have confirmed that it was Qatar.
The investigators have recovered a whooping US$633,500 in cash! US$633,500, in cash!
“In light of the ongoing judicial investigations by Belgian authorities, President Metsola has decided to immediately suspend all powers, duties, and tasks delegated to Eva Kaili as Vice President of the European Parliament,” a spokesman for Mrs. Metsola said in the evening.
“This is not an isolated incident,” said Transparency International. “For decades, Parliament has allowed a culture of impunity (…) and a total lack of independent ethical control to develop.”
“Any allegation of misconduct on the part of the State of Qatar is evidence of serious disinformation,” a Qatari government official said to the media.
The case comes to light during the Football World Cup, as the host country must make efforts to defend its reputation, criticized for its lack of respect for human rights, including workers’ rights.
On Saturday, the hearings of five suspects continued in Brussels, according to a spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office.
Any possible provisional detention by the examining magistrate must be decided within forty-eight hours of the arrest, at the latest on Sunday.
Qatar has faced accusations of corruption in recent years, particularly in relation to its successful bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. In 2014, a report by the Sunday Times alleged that Qatari officials had paid millions of dollars in bribes to secure the hosting rights for the tournament. The allegations led to an investigation by FIFA, which, not surprisingly, cleared Qatar of any wrongdoing.
More recently, Qatar has been accused of using its wealth to influence political decisions in Western countries. In 2018, the United States accused Qatar of using its financial resources to influence American political processes and policies. In 2019, Qatar was also implicated in a corruption scandal involving the British Conservative Party, with allegations that Qatari officials had donated money to the party in exchange for political favors.
Overall, Qatar has faced a range of corruption allegations in recent years, both in relation to its hosting of the World Cup and its political activities in Western countries. While Qatar has denied any wrongdoing, the accusations have raised concerns about the country’s practices and its commitment to transparency and good governance.
Eva Kaili used to be a television presenter and how she ended up becoming the Vice President of the European Parliament is another interesting tale but apparently quite salacious.