Francesco Giorgi, the partner of Greek MEP Eva Kaili who is held in Brussels over the so-called Qatargate corruption scandal, reportedly admitted that he was the person that was bribed and called on the Belgium authorities to free Kaili.
According to reports in the Italian media, 35-year-old Giorgi, who has also been arrested, confessed to investigators that he “did everything for money [he] didn’t need.”
Giorgi, one of the key figures in the alleged corruption and interference case, is accused along with Kaili, Pier Antonio Panzeri, and a fourth person of corruption, money laundering, and the creation of a criminal organization.
He has confessed according to the court documents obtained by Belgian newspaper Le Soir and Italian La Repubblica that he was part of an organization used by Morocco and Qatar with the aim of influencing the two countries’ relations with Europe.
“I will do everything possible so that my partner is free and can take care of our 22-month -old daughter,” he reportedly told investigators.
Kaili’s partner alleged in his interrogation that Panzeri, an influential former MEP, was the mastermind of Qatargate.
During a search of Panzeri’s house in Brussels, investigators of the federal judicial police discovered about six hundred thousand euros. Altogether, the money found in the possession of Kaili’s father and at the home of Kaili and her partner was around 1.5 million euros.
Kaili denies involvement in Qatargate
Greek MEP Eva Kaili has denied through her lawyer any involvement in the alleged bribery scandal involving World Cup host Qatar at the European Parliament.
In a series of interviews on Greek TV, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos said that his client has nothing to do with financing from Qatar, “nothing, explicitly and unequivocally.”
Asked about the photos released by the Belgian authorities showing the piles of cash retrieved from the search in the suspect’s homes, the lawyer said that the photos “are shocking but do not reveal to whom the money belongs.”
“Ms. Kaili’s partner is the only one who can explain to whom this money belonged, why it was found in their house, and what it was used for,” stressed Kaili’s lawyer. “Eva Kaili has nothing to do with this money.”
“The money was found in the house and the person who put it in [there] was her partner…When she saw the money and did not get a convincing answer about its origin, she immediately demanded that the money leave the house,” he added. “Her father undertook to be the carrier because there was no one else.”