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Belgian investigators have conducted more raids into the offices of MEPs linked to a possible Qatari cash-for-influence schemes. The number of raids now amount to 20 after the European Parliament President Roberta Metsola warned that “democracy is under attack”. The latest raids mark another escalation in the coruption scandal rocking the European Union.
Belgian police have so far charged four people. The most high-profile figure in the scandal is European Parliament Vice-President Eva Kaili, a Greek MEP and former TV presenter.
During raids carried out last week, Beglian police found cash worth around €600,000 (£515,000), which was reportedly discovered at the residence of one suspect, €150,000 at the apartment of an MEP, and several hundred thousand euros in a bag in a Brussels hotel room, according to Belgian authorities. Mobile phones and computers were also stolen.
Qatar has denied the allegations. MEPs are set to debate the scandal on Tuesday.
Suspicion grew around Eva Kaili, as she became one of the most vocal defenders of Qatar. She raised eyebrows when she called the country a “frontrunner in labour rights” after meeting with the country’s labour minister, despite revelations that thousands of migrant workers died in the consruction of World Cup stadiums.
In her role as Vice-President of the center-left Socialist & Democrat (S&D) party, Ms Kaili has special responsibilities related to the Middle East.
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