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28 May, 2024
 
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Qatargate: Kaili's partner confesses and names names

Kaili's partner admitted to being involved in Qatargate

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

Eva Kaili's husband, Francesco Giorgi, admitted his involvement in the Qatargate scandal, according to Le Soir and La Repubblica.

Giorgi confessed to the head of the investigation, corruption prosecutor Michel Cles, during his hearing yesterday before Belgian judicial authorities that he was a member of an organization with links to both Morocco and Qatar in order to influence their relations with Europe. He claims that this "organization" was led by former MEP Pierre Antonio Panzeri.

"I simply did it for money, which I didn't need." -Francesco Giorgi

The Italian La Repubblica reports that "Giorgi broke down in front of the prosecutor, confessed that he had acted illegally and apologized".

He allegedly asked for the release of his wife, Eva Kaili. "She must be close to our daughter," he told the Italian newspaper. It should be noted that the decision on the Greek MEP will be made on December 22nd.

As for the reasons for his involvement, 35-year-old Giorgi reportedly said simply: "I simply did it for money, which I didn't need". 

However, when asked by Soir, P. Panzeri's lawyer, Laurent Ken, stated that he "does not have this information" and condemned the "violation of confidentiality" in judicial documents to which no one should have access.

Who else does Giorgi name?
Giorgi's confession allegedly "burn" two other active MEPs from the European Socialist group: Belgian Marc Tarabella, whose house was searched by Belgian police in the presence of the European Parliament's President, and Italian Andrea Cozzolino, for whom Giorgi worked as an assistant.

Tarabella, the MEP, denies all charges. His lawyer told Le Soir that his client "does not intend to comment on alleged elements of the investigation," that "he has never received the slightest offer or amount of money from anyone," and that he is still at the mercy of the courts. MEP Cozzolino, for his part, refused to answer the question of whether he had received any gifts or money.

Finally, Giorgi appears to distance himself from Belgian MEP Marie Arenas, stating that he believes in her integrity and is unaware of any payments from Panzeri.

Meloni: "Shedding light on the case"

This morning, on her arrival in Brussels for the European Summit, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, referring to the scandal in question, said that "this whole scene is worrying" and added that "there must be an in-depth reaction, without favoritism, because the credibility of Europe and of our nations is at stake".

"We will request that all light be shed on what is going on," the Italian prime minister said.

They anticipated finding more money

In recent days, the European press has been heavily covering Qatargate, publishing reports, new information, and analysis. The authorities had learned from interceptions made over the last six months that former Democratic Party MEP Antonio Panzeri had cash in his home, according to an article published yesterday in the Italian La Republicca.

This money was not intended to bribe him, but rather to "grease" the mechanisms of the European Parliament into carrying out Qatar's (and possibly Morocco's) wishes: reassuring statements, and friendly legislation.

The investigators are convinced that this has already occurred because, based on their calculations, they expected to find more money in Panzeri's house than they did. The remainder was most likely distributed in recent weeks. On the other hand, they had not intended to search Kaili's home at all. Due to the self-incriminating nature of the offense, they decided to arrest her again.

According to the Italian news agency ANSA, Belgium is attempting to extradite Panzeri's wife and daughter, whose homes in Italy have already been searched.

Meanwhile, Kaili's socialist group in the European Parliament, S&D, has asked many of its members to resign while the investigation is ongoing. However, the agency clarifies that Kaili's MEP title is still valid because it can only be revoked through national, in this case, Greek legislation.

At the same time, Qatar maintains its distance from Kaili, claiming that information about Doha's relations with the Greek politician is false.

"Brangelina of the European Parliament"
According to the German magazine Focus "Kaili's Instagram was filled with glamorous photos, similar to those posted by wealthy it-girls, movie or music stars. Everything was going swimmingly for this social democrat from economically disadvantaged Greece, and she wanted to show the rest of the world." Kaili and Giorgi are dubbed the "Brangelina of the European Parliament" by the Ostfriesen-Zeitung.

The French Courrier International wonders if the scandal will mark the end of the left's moral superiority, while European Politico believes the scandal is encouraging Euroscepticism among far-right leaders such as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and French politician Marine Le Pen.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Italy  |  Europe  |  scandal  |  corruption  |  Qatargate

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