A Greek MEP admitted she asked her father to recover a vast sum of money from her house after learning that it was a bribe, her lawyer has revealed. Eva Kaili, 44, is expected to admit to a judicial hearing tomorrow she told her father to get rid of the “dirty money”, to the value of £659,000 (€750,000), after her husband was arrested on suspicion of taking bribes from Qatar in exchange for favorable coverage in the European parliament. Ms Kaili insists she “has never in her life taken a bribe” and only learned about the contents of her suitcase from her partner after he was arrested.
Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, Ms Kaili’s lawyer in Greece, told a local radio station his client instructed colleagues of her husband to take the “dirty money” back after she allegedly found out about the corruption.
The colleagues of Ms Kaili’s husband to whom Mr Dimitrakopoulos referred are believed to be Pier Antonio Panzeri, the head of “Fight Impunity”, a Brussels-based human rights lobby group, and his peers.
Belgian prosecutors are accusing Ms Kaili, her husband Francesco Giorgi, 35, Mr Panzeri and Niccolo Figa-Talamanca, an Italian human rights lobbyist who has been released on bail, of running a corruption and bribery network to influence European Union decisions to the benefit of Qatar.
Mr Dimitrakopoulos said: “When her husband was arrested, it was in a nearby area in the garage, they were together. It was not announced what the reason was [for the arrest] was.
“At that moment, she learned about the contents of the suitcase from her partner. One option was to turn him in to the police, the second was to take the money to its owner. She has no obligation to report her husband under European law.
“She called her father to come. ‘Come on now, take these things, go to your room in the hotel, and a man will come and get them.’”
Ms Kaili was stripped of her office as European parliament vice-president after police seizures of £1.3 million (€1.5 million) in cash two weeks ago.
Her father was arrested on December 9 in the Brussels Sofitel hotel with a suitcase full of cash. An arrest warrant issued on the same day for the Greek MEP and cited in Belgian media showed Ms Kaili admitted instructing her father to hide the money.
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