Greek lawmaker Eva Kaili, who became the face of the so-called Qatargate corruption scandal that shook the European Parliament, will be granted house arrest, a Belgian judge said on Wednesday.
The former parliamentary vice president is being investigated over accusations she took bribes — allegedly from Qatar and Morocco — in exchange for political favors.
Kaili’s lawyer, Sven Mary, told French news agency AFP that the MEP is expected to be released on Monday or possibly Friday, once the paperwork has been completed and she has been fitted with a tracking bracelet.
What is the so-called Qatargate scandal?
The 44-year-old former newsreader was arrested last December after police found large sums of cash in her house.
Kaili’s partner Francisco Giorgi — the father of her 2-year-old child — has also previously been released from custody with an electronic tracker.
Investigations have revolved around confessions from former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri. Investigators allege he ran a network of lawmakers, NGO leaders and trade unionists in a bribe-taking scheme.
These then allegedly attempted to bolster the reputation of Qatar and Morocco, notably by watering down criticisms of Qatar’s treatment of workers ahead of the 2022 football World Cup.
Kaili continues to fight charges
Kaili, who is originally from the city of Thessaloniki in Greece, will be kept under house arrest in her Belgian residence.
She has continued to profess her innocence — as have the governments of Qatar and Morocco.
“We will continue to fight until the truth gets dressed and comes out into the light of day, whether that’s in a few weeks or a few months,” Kaili’s lawyer Mary said.
“And the truth is not what is coming out of the mouth of Mr. Panzeri, that’s a sure thing.”
Panzeri’s own lawyer has said he is cooperating fully with the investigation in the hopes of being able to bring down any sentence he is given.