Major corruption scandal rocks European Parliament
By Nathan Morley
A Greek vice president of the European Parliament accused of corruption and money laundering has been stripped of her role
The European Parliament has been rocked by the biggest scandal in its history.
Since Friday, six people have been arrested after police made several raids based on suspicions of large money payments by a Gulf state to influence parliament members.
Law enforcement officers have raided parliamentary offices and private homes, uncovering hundreds of thousands of euros in cash.
On Monday, four people were charged including European Parliament Vice-President Eva Kaili, who remains in custody.
Earlier - in a decision which was really just a formality - she was stripped of her role as a vice-president in a vote at the European Parliament.
Kaili has also been ousted from the European parliament’s Socialists and Democrats group and Greece’s Pasok party, and Greek authorities have frozen her assets.
Her lawyer, speaking on Greek television, said she denied taking bribes from Qatar in return for influence and defending the government in Doha.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said the full force of law had to be brought to bear in the case, saying the graft case was ‘about the credibility of Europe’.
Meanwhile, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday she is pushing for the creation of a European Union-wide ethics body.