Eva Kaili, a Greek politician and former MEP who was arrested in December 2022 and charged with corruption as part of the Qatar corruption scandal at the European Parliament. She served as one of fourteen vice presidents of the European Parliament and was one of the most vocal defenders of Qatar. Her advocacy for the country has been questioned following her arrest, and many are curious about how her legal battle will play out. This article will delve into Kaili’s advocacy for Qatar, her involvement in the Qatar corruption scandal, and the legal implications of her arrest.
Kaili’s Advocacy for Qatar
Kaili has been one of the most vocal defenders of Qatar, praising the country’s labor rights and reforms despite international concerns about the conditions for stadium construction workers. She has been a member of the center-left Socialist & Democrat (S&D) party, and her portfolio includes special responsibilities related to the Middle East. Kaili has been a dean of the Doha defenders within the S&D, and her advocacy for Qatar has led to controversy.
For instance, when the plenary passed a resolution deploring the deaths of thousands of migrant workers, Kaili took to the floor to praise the “historical transformation” of Qatar brought on by the World Cup. Kaili showed up to vote in favor of visa liberalization for Qatar and Kuwait in the Parliament’s justice and home affairs committee, even though she was not a member of the committee. Moreover, Kaili alienated MEPs on a panel dedicated to the Middle East when she freelanced her own trip after Doha canceled the group’s visit. The Parliament’s Delegation for Relations With the Arab Peninsula (DARP) had planned to visit Qatar just before the World Cup in November to observe labor law changes and visit tournament facilities.
However, with barely a month’s notice, Qatar’s consultative assembly, known as the Shura Council, asked to postpone. Instead, Kaili went to Qatar the week the full delegation was supposed to be there and gave full-throated praise to the emirate’s labor reforms. According to local press, she said she was representing 500 million European citizens who see the country’s progress as representing common values. This move has raised suspicions among MEPs and led to criticism of Kaili’s advocacy for Qatar.
Involvement in the Qatar Corruption Scandal
Eva Kaili was arrested in December 2022 and charged with corruption as part of the Qatar corruption scandal at the European Parliament. She was one of the five individuals arrested and criminally charged by Belgian authorities, together with her domestic partner Francesco Giorgi, former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, NGO director Niccolò Figà-Talamanca, and Belgian MEP Marc Tarabella.
Kaili was held in pre-trial detention in Brussels until being released with an electronic bracelet on 14 April 2023. Through her lawyers, she has denied all charges against her. The charges relate to the Qatar corruption scandal at the European Parliament, which involved allegations of bribes, illegal payments, and influence peddling. The scandal led to an investigation into whether Qatar had tried to influence the European Parliament’s vote on a trade agreement.
The Legal Implications of Her Arrest
Kaili’s arrest has raised questions about her advocacy for Qatar and the extent of her involvement in the Qatar corruption scandal. Her release with an electronic bracelet on 14 April 2023 means that she is still under investigation and cannot leave Belgium. The investigation into the Qatar corruption scandal at the European Parliament is ongoing, and it remains to be seen what the legal implications of Kaili’s arrest will be.