Eva Kaili, the Greek MEP charged with corruption as part of the so-called Qatargate inquiry, has vowed not to return to her homeland before clearing her name.
“If I do not succeed in convincing Belgian justice of my innocence, I shall never return to my home country,” Kaili said in an interview published Sunday in the Greek weekly To Vima.
Kaili was released from prison but placed under house arrest on Friday and driven in her lawyer’s car to her apartment near the European Parliament.
The 44-year-old ex-newsreader and former vice president of the EU parliament has been ordered to remain at home pending trial, while wearing an electronic tracker.
The public face of a corruption scandal that has rocked EU politics, she has already spent four months in custody amid a Belgian probe.
Kaili’s partner, parliamentary aide Francesco Giorgi, has likewise been charged and released.
“My whole world came crashing down in December 2022 when I was informed by the media of accusations against my partner and the father of my child,” Kaili told To Vima.
“There have been moments when I thought of putting an end to this torment... but the thought of my daughter kept me going,” Kaili added.
Belgian MEP Marc Tarabella and Italian former EU lawmaker Pier Antonio Panzeri, were released to their residences in Belgium on Thursday, also wearing electronic tracking bracelets.
The investigation covers alleged attempts by Qatar and Morocco to buy influence in the parliament, the European Union’s elected assembly, particularly in trying to water down criticism of Qatar’s labor rights record ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
Both countries deny any involvement in wrongdoing, as do Kaili and Tarabella.
Kaili and Panzeri were among four suspects arrested on December 9 when police raided a string of residences in Brussels and netted 1.5 million euros ($1.6 million) in cash.
She was also stripped of her functions as parliamentary vice president.
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