A vice-president of the EU has been arrested as part of a corruption probe linked to World Cup holders Qatar, it was announced on Friday.
Belgian police arrested Greek socialist MEP Eva Kaili, 44, one of the vice-presidents of the European Parliament, in Brussels on Friday evening, a source close to the case told AFP.
The arrest, in connection with an investigation into corruption implicating World Cup hosts Qatar, follows the detention of four other suspects earlier on Friday, said the source.
This is said to include Ms Kaili’s partner Luca Visentini, 53, who is the current head of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
Kaili, who is the partner of one of the four people arrested earlier today, was detained for questioning by the police, the source added.
It is understood that all four of those originally arrested are Italian citizens or of Italian origin.
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Belgium’s federal prosecutor announced the earlier arrests after 600,000 euros in cash was discovered when police raided 16 addresses raids in the capital Brussels.
The prosecutors did not specify the identities of the suspects or name the country involved, saying only that it was a ‘Gulf’ state.
But a source close to the case confirmed press reports that it was focused on suspected attempts by Qatar to corrupt an Italian Socialist who was a member of the European parliament from 2004 to 2019.