Scandal at European Parliament: MEPs Kaili and Tarabella to remain in pre-trial detention

Scandal at European Parliament: MEPs Kaili and Tarabella to remain in pre-trial detention
MEPs Eva Kaili (left) and Marc Tarabella. Credit: Belga

In the investigation into the corruption scandal at the European Parliament, MEPs Eva Kaili, Marc Tarabella and former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri will remain in pre-trial detention in the Haren prison, the Brussels Council Chamber ruled on Thursday evening.

Panzeri, one of the leading European politicians at the centre of the so-called "Qatargate" corruption scandal, agreed to collaborate with the Belgian authorities in exchange for a decreased prison sentence. His revelations, presumably, are what are keeping Kaili and Tarabella in detention at the moment.

"I really thought she should and would be released, at least under the condition of electronic monitoring," Sven Mary, her new lawyer, told Le Soir. "I am sad she will not be released and I still think she is considered some kind of trophy. But she is not just a vice-president of the European Parliament, Eva Kaili is also a mother, a mother who sees her 24-month-old baby twice a month. I respect this decision but I am contesting it and I will appeal tomorrow."

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He added that he is of the same opinion as Belgian MEP Marc Tarabella's lawyers, namely that too much credit is being given to the "repentant" Panzeri. "I note that the elements to maintain my client in detention are based on the declarations of Panzeri, who lied for two months and whose word, now that he has the status of repentant, is seemingly gospel."

For his part, Tarabella's request for release was also rejected and his detention was therefore extended by one month. "We will lodge an appeal tomorrow and continue the fight," his lawyer Maxim Töller said, clarifying that this request for release is independent of the procedure to challenge the investigating judge.

The only defendant who has not requested release is Panzeri, who continues his long hearings where he has promised to make "substantial" revelations about the case.

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