Greece freezes assets of EU parliament VP over Qatar scandal

Athens, Dec 12 (EFE) – Greek authorities on Monday froze the assets of European Parliament vice president Eva Kaili, as well as those of her closest relatives, anti-money laundering authority chief Haralambos Vourliotis said in a statement. 

Kaili was arrested on Sunday on corruption charges for allegedly receiving hefty bribes from Qatar to influence EP policy regarding the World Cup.

A judge in Belgium charged her and another three people — including her partner, Italian Franceso Giorgi — for their involvement in a criminal organization engaged in corruption and money laundering. 

The assets freeze of the European MEP, was ordered by Vourliotis because they may have links to illegal activities.

Eva Kaili’s father was found by the police carrying 600,000 euros in cash

Kaili’s father was also arrested in Brussels on Friday and was found carrying a bag with 600,000 euros in cash in an alleged attempt to flee.

EP president Roberta Metsola on Saturday announced the suspension of Kaili as vice president with “immediate effect”. 

The European Socialists and Democrats group, to which Kaili belonged, also suspended Kaili’s membership on Saturday.

Greek banks and relevant state authorities have been informed of the decision to freeze Kaili’s assets, Vourliotis added.

European Commission chief, Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday that the charges against Kaili were “of utmost concern, very serious.”

EC vice president Josep Borrell also described the probe as “very, very worrisome.” 

Qatar has called the reported links to its government in the probe as “baseless and gravely misinformed,” a statement published by Qatar’s foreign ministry on Twitter on Sunday read. EFE

dsp/aef/ch