Greek authorities have imposed an asset freeze on European Parliament Vice-President Eva Kaili and those closely associated with her after she—along with several others, including an EU lawmaker and former MEP—were arrested for allegedly having taken cash bribes from the autocratic Qatari regime to help it improve its less-than-stellar international image.
The head of Greece’s Anti-Money-Laundering Authority, Haralambos Vourliotis, who formerly served as the Supreme Court’s deputy prosecutor, on Monday, December 12th, ordered a freeze on all of the property and financial assets of Kaili, her family, and her partner, after the MEP was arrested in Brussels over the weekend, the Athens-based newspaper Proto Thema reports.
Vourliotis, in a statement, noted that the measure applies to Kaili and her immediate relatives’ (husband, parents, siblings) “bank accounts, safes, companies, real estate, and other financial assets.”
The anti-money-laundering chief also announced that authorities had traced a real estate company based in the upscale, central Athens district of Kolonaki back to the European Parliament Vice President and her partner, Francesco Giorgi. The firm, established only a month ago, has had its assets frozen and its business dealings are presently being examined by authorities.
According to Proto Thema, Eva Kaili, her partner Francesco Giorgi, the Italian former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, and a lobbyist were among those who were arrested over the weekend. Kaili’s father was detained but released, while Luca Visentini, the General Secretary of the International Confederation of Trade Unions, was also allegedly detained but released. Authorities also raided the home of Belgian MEP Marc Tarabella (S&D) on Saturday, Nordesee-Zeitung reports.
The prosecutor’s office handling the case says Kaili will remain in police custody, in the women’s prison, for up to five days, at which point she will appear before a court that will decide whether she will remain behind bars until the beginning of the trial.