Photos of suitcases exchanging hands related to the Qatargare scandal that has rocked Europe were published in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica on Tuesday.
According to the paper, the photographs show the two main protagonists of the Qatargate corruption scandal, former Italian MEP Antonio Panzeri and Francesco Giorgi, husband of Greek MEP Eva Kaili, carrying suitcases presumably full of money.
The grainy photos by a security camera were taken at the Steigenberger Hotel in Brussels on October 10th and show the Minister of Labor of Qatar, Ali Ben Samih al-Mari, Panzeri, and Giorgi, who is seen bringing along his daughter to the meeting in a baby stroller.
Qatargate suspects seen carrying suitcases
The two men are seen carrying suitcases, presumably containing money, La Repubblica says.
The meeting took place five weeks before the start of the 2022 World Cup in one of the most luxurious hotels of the Belgian capital, located in one of the most up-scale areas of Brussels—Avenue Louise.
La Repubblica says that the hotel was a favorite of Qatari officials. According to the newspaper, in December 2021 on the day of Qatar’s national holiday, a huge party was held with almost three hundred guests, many of whom were MEPs.
Kaili and Giorgi were among several people arrested on December 9th as part of a sting organized by Belgian authorities investigating corruption, money laundering, and foreign influence peddling linked to the European Parliament.
In his reported confession, Giorgi is said to have named former Italian MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri as the head of the organization.
Kaili claims she is innocent in Qatargate scandal
Like Kaili and Giorgi, Panzeri, too, was arrested on December 9th and is currently in a Brussels jail cell.
Kaili, who maintains her innocence, will remain in custody over the Qatar corruption scandal for at least another month, a Brussels court ruled last week.
“Ms. Kaili is innocent, [and] she denies all accusations of bribery or corruption,” one of her lawyers, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, said. He added that his client neither knew nor participated in the acts for which her partner is accused.