The head of the EP, Roberta Metsola, in opening the plenary session in Strasbourg, announced the launch of the procedure for dismissing EP Vice-President Eva Kaila “in order to protect the integrity of the European Parliament”.
“The European Parliament has been attacked, European democracy has been attacked,” she said.
“As a precautionary measure, (…) in full respect of the principle of the presumption of innocence, I have relieved the Vice-President of all her duties and responsibilities and convened an extraordinary meeting of the Conference of Presidents to start the Rule 1 procedure. 21 to end her term as Vice-President in order to protect the integrity of this House,” Metsola added.
She recalled how she was meant to announce the opening of a negotiating mandate on visa waiver with Qatar and Kuwait, but “in the light of the investigation, this report must be referred back to the committee.”
The deputy head of the European Parliament Eva Kaili (Socialists and Democrats) was indicted and arrested due to a Belgian court decision. She and three others have been charged with corruption, for their participation in a criminal group and for money laundering; an investigation is now being conducted into suspected corruption within the European Parliament, the Belgian “L’Echo” reported.
Earlier, the Belgian prosecutor’s office announced it had launched an investigation into possible corruption associated with an unnamed Gulf state where assistants and officials of the European Parliament are among those suspected. The media have reported this country as Qatar.
L’Echo also reported that the cash seized in the bags found at Kaila’s home hadn’t yet been counted. According to the newspaper, the amount is in the six figures. Another suspect found EUR 600,000 in cash at the home of yet another suspect.