Eva Kaili is at the center of the major EU corruption scandal. She is said to have received a bribe from Qatar. The ousted parliamentary vice-president has now established a line of defence.
If you believe Eva Kaili, it’s all just a big misunderstanding and she herself is innocence personified. Greek media write that the family of the top Greek politician believe in Eva’s innocence. One of her three lawyers, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, stated “Her position is that she is innocent. It has nothing to do with Qatari corruption”. Dimitrakopoulos is trying to get the entire family’s assets confiscated in Greece released by means of an urgent application.
It is a difficult undertaking, especially since more than 1.5 million euros in cash were found in the homes of the two main suspects, Kaili and former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri. Belgian media cite police sources who report a scene “like drug lords”. According to the Greek media, Kaili is said to have decorated her apartment with numerous luxury items “made in Qatar”.
On Monday evening, the imprisoned former parliamentary vice-president spoke to her sister Mantalena for two minutes on the phone while she was in Dimitrakopoulos’ office in Athens. Dimitrakopoulos notes that he was expecting a frightened, devastated Eva Kaili, but was amazed to find that his client even encouraged her younger sister to fight.
Dimitrakopoulos claims that there are no grounds for his client’s detention in Brussels. He hopes the legal team will get her out quickly. He said that the one and a half year old daughter needed her mother. The girl is currently staying in the home of a former Kaili employee.
His Belgian counterpart, Andre Risopoulos, who is fighting for Kailis in Brussels, was less talkative to Greek news site Newsbomb. He pointed out that all facts should be presented on Wednesday at the detention hearing in Brussels. A press release from the legal team has been announced for Wednesday afternoon.
Nevertheless, key points of the defense line got through on Greek state television ERT. Accordingly, Eva Kaili “accidentally voted” in the LIBE Committee’s vote on visa-free travel for Qatar and Kuwait on December 1st. The sources cited by the ERT claim that the blame lies with the deposed Speaker’s staff, according to Kaili. She has nothing to do with Qatar, she is said to have transferred all powers on Qatari issues to her partner Francesco Giorgi.
The hot love of the suspects, who were portrayed as a “dream couple” until Friday, seems to cool down at lightning speed in the cold Belgian detention cells. The magazine “Politico” describes the couple as “Brangelina of the EU Parliament”. A fitting comparison. Like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, this War of the Roses is cinematic.
Because Giorgi is also talking now. The Italian “Corriere della Serra” reports on Giorgi’s hour-long statement to the Belgian investigators. It is believed that Giorgi alerted Kaili’s father, who then tried to flee with a suitcase full of money. The Belgian police listened to the telephone conversation and seized Alexandros Kaili in a cinematic action.
Unlike Giorgi, the Kaili family sticks together like sulphur. Eva Kaili’s sister Mantalena told the Proto Thema tabloid that she would go anywhere for her sister. Mantalena sees Eva as the victim of an intrigue, “her presence alone is disturbing,” she says.
The two are an inseparable pair of siblings. In all of Eva’s previous posts, Mantalena followed her as an advisor, including in Brussels. Mantalena is co-founder and general director of an NGO, ElonTech, dedicated to lobbying for digitization and cryptocurrencies. ElonTech organizes conferences, also in Brussels, and invites Eva Kaili as the keynote speaker, the EU paid funding. Also on December 1st, when Kaili “accidentally” voted at the LIBE committee, she was engaged for ElonTech as a keynote speaker at a panel discussion
All this is now also being examined by the Greek public prosecutor’s office for corruption. The family business Kaili is now also threatened with criminal prosecution in Greece if a suspicion should be confirmed.
Kaili’s father is now increasingly being targeted by the media and authorities. His arrest caused an uproar in the regional administration of Central Macedonia, where he works as a senior official. So far, the Greek media has only been able to learn unofficially from the governor’s press office that “Mr. Kailis has been on vacation for a few days before retirement” and that the governor is said to have contacted the interior ministry with a request for help.
From family circles it was said that the corruption affair would affect Kaili’s father’s health, as reported by Greek media. Anonymous witnesses come forward and describe Alexandros Kaili’s work in the building authority, in the traffic department and in the office for technical services with unflattering words. The entire family is under extreme pressure just before Christmas, the family celebration of love. The Greeks experience a real telenovela as a political thriller.