EU corruption case suspect takes aim at detention conditions

Jan 19, 2023, 10:15 AM | Updated: 10:28 am

Lawyer for senior lawmaker Eva Kaili, Andre Risopolous, center left, speaks with the media after a ...

Lawyer for senior lawmaker Eva Kaili, Andre Risopolous, center left, speaks with the media after a hearing at the Justice Palace in Brussels, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023. So far, six people are suspected of links to a crime gang paid by Qatar and Morocco to influence parliamentary decisions. Both countries reject the allegations. The accused include Greek Socialist and Democrats lawmaker Eva Kaili and her boyfriend Francesco Giorgi, an assistant to another S&D member. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

(AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

BRUSSELS (AP) — Lawyers for a former European Parliament vice president at the heart of the corruption scandal rocking the European Union’s assembly complained Thursday about her detention conditions and sought her release.

Greek European lawmaker Eva Kaili was removed as vice president after she was taken into custody early last month on charges of corruption, money laundering and membership in a criminal organization. She denies wrongdoing, her lawyers said.

“Once again, we have asked for Ms. Kaili to be released from prison under alternative measures, such as an electronic bracelet or other similar measures,” lawyer André Risopoulos said after a hearing at a Brussels courthouse.

The request for Kaili’s release was denied. She can appeal the decision to keep her detained, the federal prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

Risopoulos said Kaili was held in solitary confinement earlier this month. Another lawyer for Kaili, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, described his client’s treatment as “torture.”

“For 16 hours she was in a police cell, and not in the prison. … She was refused a second blanket. They took her jacket. This is torture,” he said. “The light was on all the time. She couldn’t sleep.”

Belgian prosecutors suspect that Kaili, along with former parliament member Pier Antonio Panzeri, Kaili’s partner and Panzeri’s friend Francesco Georgi, and Niccolo Figa-Talamanca, head of the charity group No Peace Without Justice, were paid by Qatar and Morocco to influence decision-making at the assembly. Both countries deny the allegations.

The federal prosecutor’s office said Tuesday that Panzeri had agreed to become an informant and reveal more information about the scandal in exchange for a lighter sentence. He has pledged to tell investigators the names of those involved and what financial arrangements were made with other countries.

The scandal came to public attention on Dec. 9 after police launched more than 20 raids, mostly in Belgium but also in Italy. Hundreds of thousands of euros were found at a home and in a suitcase at a hotel in Brussels. Cellphones and computer equipment and data were seized.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

15 hours ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

2 days ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

9 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

10 days ago

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, and Kenya's Defense Minister Aden Duale, left, listen during...

Associated Press

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hospitalized with bladder issue

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been hospitalized following symptoms pointing to an “emergent bladder issue."

12 days ago

Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church, stands with his wife, Victoria Osteen, as he conducts a...

Associated Press

Woman firing rifle killed by 2 off-duty officers at Houston’s Lakewood Church run by Joel Osteen

A woman entered the Texas megachurch of Joel Osteen and started shooting with a rifle Sunday and was killed by two off-duty officers.

12 days ago

Sponsored Articles


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.


Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

EU corruption case suspect takes aim at detention conditions