The European Parliament took the first step Tuesday in efforts to restore its credibility, amid allegations of corruption linked to World Cup host Qatar, moving to ditch one of its own vice presidents.
At the same time, in a first reaction since she was charged in a Belgian anti-graft probe, Greek socialist MEP Eva Kaili’s lawyer declared that she was innocent and “has nothing to do with Qatar’s bribes.”
But, as the 44-year-old former TV news presenter waited in a Brussels jail cell, her colleagues in the Strasbourg parliament were to vote to strip her of her vice president’s role.
The parliament’s president, Maltese conservative Roberta Metsola, convened the leaders of political groups before calling on MEPs to vote “on the early termination of office of Vice President Eva Kaili”.
Kaili’s fellow MEPs are scrambling to distance themselves from her.
On Wednesday a Belgian judge will decide whether to maintain her and three co-accused in custody pending her trial.
She was arrested last week during a series of raids on the homes and offices of several MEPs and their assistants or associates carried out by Belgian graft investigators.