Sixteen searches were carried out by the police across the Belgian capital, where the European Parliament has its headquarters. In addition to the four arrests, around two-thirds of a million euros were seized along with computer equipment and mobile phones.
Among those arrested is a former European parliamentarian, according to the prosecution while a senior MEP has been suspended from her party after police launched an investigation into alleged illicit lobbying activities by Qatar.
European Parliament vice-president Eva Kaili was also said to be among those detained and has been expelled by her party. The Socialists and Democrats group in the EU Parliament (like most of the British mainstream media) have been heavily criticized over its soft stance on Qatar and its human rights abuses, in the run-up to the World Cup.
The Belgian website Le Soir and Knack reported those detained alongside Kaili included Luca Visentini, secretary general of the International Trade Union Confederation.
What is particularly interesting is that Kaili, one of the parliament’s 14 vice-presidents, recently called Qatar a “frontrunner in labour rights” after meeting with Qatar’s labour minister, despite the fact that many countries have serious concerns about conditions among those who built the stadia that have been used in the world cup. (See for example Small publication threatened by Qatar world cup committee over slavery allegations)
“For several months, investigators from the Federal Judicial Police suspect a Gulf country of influencing the European Parliament’s economic and political decisions,” the EU prosecutor’s statement added.
Qatar is accused of giving “substantial amounts of money” and gifts to members of the European Parliament, according to the prosecutor’s statement.
Qatar is a major liquefied natural gas to the west, and it has often been thought that the major efforts of some western nations to present Qatar in a positive light and allow no news whatsoever to upset the positive image of Qatar that has been projected, has at its heart a desire to keep Qatar onside in terms of its provision of liquified natural gas to the west.
The BBC has taken a while to get to the story but has now published the piece under the headline Ex-MEP arrested over allegations of bribery by Gulf state They note “a wider investigation into criminal organisation, corruption, and money laundering.” The report adds that “Qatar has repeatedly been accused of corruption, including in its bid to host the 2022 football World Cup.“
This is of course just one of many stories that are not widely reported in the UK. As a further example you might like to read the piece…
Gaslighting: how refereeing in the Premier League is manipulated, and why the media never speak about it.
- 1: Are the referees and the media really out to get Arsenal, or am I just imagining it?
- 2: How discussions about refereeing are deliberately stifled by the media
- 3: Referees: the odd statistics that are simply never revealed or discussed
- 4: How we have been utterly misled about football: part 4
- 5: Hiding the problem of refereeing is destroying the credibility of the Premier League
- 6: Revealed: PL referees are not 98% accurate but actually just 75% accurate
- Arsenal has let in one more goal than at this stage last season, and that’s a disaster
- Arsenal continue to make more progress than the rest of the big seven
- Arsenal v Tottenham; the team and some rather jolly recent history
- We are running out of referees, and the reason is the PGMO.
- Arsenal v Tottenham: the key fact the media won’t to tell you – and why they won’t