Lawyers are calling for the release of the suspect in the EU corruption scandal

BRUSSELS (AP) — Lawyers for the former vice president of the European Parliament suspected of being at the center of one of the European Union’s biggest corruption scandals demanded Thursday that she be released from prison while wearing a police monitoring device.

Belgian prosecutors accuse Eva Kaili of corruption, participation in a criminal organization and money laundering. He has been in custody since December 9. Her partner, Francesco Giorgi, an adviser to the European Parliament, is also in prison on the same charges.

The two are suspected of working with Giorgi’s one-time boss, Pier Antonio Panzeri, a former EU MEP. According to arrest warrants, Panzeri “is suspected of political interference with members working in the European Parliament for the benefit of Qatar and Morocco , against payment”.

“We asked that … Kaili be placed on an electronic monitoring system, with a bracelet,” her Belgian lawyer, Andre Risopoulos, told reporters outside a Brussels court, where judges were considering whether to release her. Kaili’s legal team said they expect a decision later Thursday.

Risopoulos said Kaili, a Greek former TV news anchor, “is playing an active role in the investigation. She rejects all corruption charges against her.” He and the Kaili family’s lawyer from Greece, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, declined to comment further on the hearing.

Kaili, 44, was removed from her seat in the European Parliament last week after allegations were made against her. The EU assembly has suspended work on files involving Qatar as it probes the impact the cash-and-gifts bribery scandal could have had. Qatar categorically denies involvement.

The scandal hit the spotlight just as Qatar was hosting the soccer World Cup. The small, energy-rich Gulf nation has seen its international profile rise as Doha has used its vast offshore gas reserves to make the country one of the richest per capita in the world and boost its regional political ambitions.

Morocco has yet to respond to allegations that its ambassador to Poland may be involved.

Belgian prosecutors are also seeking the extradition of Panzeri’s wife and daughter from Italy, where they are being held under house arrest, on similar charges.

A fourth suspect in Belgium — Niccolo Figa-Talamanca, secretary general of the non-governmental organization No Peace Without Justice — was also charged in the case. He has been released but must wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.

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