Qatargate: European Parliament lawyers support case against Eva Kaili
Lawyers for the European Parliament are calling on Belgian judges to reject former vice-president Eva Kaili's appeal to dismiss criminal charges against her over corruption allegations in the Qatargate investigation.
According to Belgian media L'Echo and De Standaard, Kaili is appealing to the Brussels Indictment Chamber to declare the charges inadmissible.
Kaili's lawyers argue that the Greek MEP's parliamentary immunity was breached from the start of the investigation in July 2022, five months before her arrest at her Brussels residence on 9 December 2022.
Lawyers for the European Parliament, the civil party in the case, announced their conclusions on Wednesday. They argued that parliamentary immunity is "in no way a personal privilege granted to the member of parliament and does not place them above the law" and that it does not apply to the criminal investigation phase but only to the main proceedings.
The latter point is crucial, as the Federal Prosecutor's Office initially decided not to open an investigation against Eva Kaili or any other MEP before the flagrant offence of 9 December 2022 gave them jurisdiction.
They also argued that not lifting immunity is "an obstacle to the exercise of public action and not a cause of inadmissibility", and therefore, no investigative action should be excluded.
© FREDERICK FLORIN / AFP