MEP Kaili vows to continue ‘fight’ upon release from prison

MEP Kaili vows to continue ‘fight’ upon release from prison

Eva Kaili, the former European Parliament vice president accused of corruption, has been released from custody in Belgium to house arrest.

The 44-year-old politician was driven in a black Mercedes, accompanied by her lawyer Michalis Dimitrakopoulos and her father, from Haren prison in northern Brussels to her apartment near the European Parliament, where she wound down the window to speak briefly to reporters.

“My lawyers are continuing the fight with determination,” she told waiting reporters in Greek

“My daughter is waiting for me, so I am very happy that I will be with her in a bit. We will talk soon,” she said in English, before the car disappeared into a garage.

The 44-year-old politician, elected with PASOK but since expelled by the socialists, is accused of accepting bribes from Qatar and Morocco in exchange for influence in EU policymaking in one of the biggest corruption scandals to hit European Union institutions.

The MEP and the Gulf state have denied any wrongdoing. Morocco has complained of “judicial harassment” and media attacks.

Kaili was detained along with three others during police raids in December that recovered €1.5 million in cash. She will wear an electronic tag and will not be allowed to leave Belgium.

The three others have also been released, one of whom has admitted guilt and is working with authorities in exchange for a reduced sentence.

Another MEP, Belgian Marc Tarabella, was detained in February and let out with an electronic monitor earlier this week. He denies wrongdoing.

Another lawmaker, Italian Andrea Cozzolino, is fighting Belgium’s request that he be extradited from Italy. He denies taking bribes from foreign countries. The Italian court handling the extradition request is due to hold a hearing on May 2. [AMNA, Reuters]

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