Former Vice-President of the European Parliament Eva Kaili – one of the key figures implicated in the Qatargate corruption scandal – is set to be released from prison within the next few days. The 44-year-old Greek MEP will instead be placed under house arrest at her Brussels apartment, where her movements will be monitored by an electronic ankle bracelet.
"Eva Kaili will be released from prison [to be placed] under house arrest in Belgium and put under electronic surveillance. The investigating judge has just made the decision," spokesperson for the Belgian Federal Prosecutor's Office Antoon Schotsaert told AFP.
Kaili, who has been detained by the Belgian authorities since her arrest on 9 December last year, is suspected of accepting bribes and other favours from the Qatari and Moroccan Governments in exchange for her support for pro-Qatari and pro-Moroccan legislation. Kaili denies any involvement in the scandal.
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The news follows the recent releases of other key figures implicated in the scandal, including Italian former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri and Belgian MEP Marc Tarabella; Kaili's partner, Francesco Giorgi, was released in February. All are similarly required to wear movement-monitoring electronic ankle bracelets.
A fourth figure caught up in the scandal, Italian MEP Andrea Cozzolino, has been under house arrest in Italy for the past two months. Belgian prosecutors are currently seeking his extradition to Belgium.