ATHENS – Greek Member of the European Parliament Eva Kaili, who remains jailed in Brussels until a trial on charges of taking bribes from Qatar – as does her partner – now has seen land they own on the island of Paros confiscated by Greece’s anti-money laundering agency.
That came as one of her lawyers, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, told reporters that she had been “betrayed” by her partner, Francesco Giorgi, the father of their child, who reportedly confessed and absolved her.
Despite that, Kaili’s bid to be released on condition of house arrest and wearing and electronic surveillance device was rejected by the court although she will have another hearing on Jan. 15, 2023.
The seizure of the land on Paros was ordered by Charalambos Vourliotis, a former supreme court judge who heads the country’s anti-laundering authority, following “concrete signs” of financial impropriety, sources not named told the British newspaper The Guardian.
Authorities seized the asset after a financial prosecutor found evidence of money laundering in the purchase of the property, a large sea view plot in one of the popular island’s most sought after spots, the paper said.
The deposits of a joint bank account in the name of the couple were also confiscated although Dimitrakopoulos has insisted the land was bought with her MEP earnings.
“They wanted a house to stay when they came in the summer,” Vazaios Petropoulos, the couple’s French-trained architect told state TV. “The plan was to have a house for the family,” he said.
The Brussels newspaper Le Soir said that a leaked document from the investigation showed that Kaili admitted she knew that suitcases of cash passed through the apartment she shared with Giorgi.
The document was said to have also shown that when he was arrested just outside their apartment on Dec. 9 that Kaili, a former TV news anchor, panicked and asked her father, who was visiting Brussels, to hide the money.
Kaili’s father was arrested that morning attempting to leave the Sofitel hotel in the EU quarter with a suitcase stuffed with 750,000 ($796,837) in notes. He was released the same day without charge. Other report said that 600,000 euros ($637,747) was in the suitcase and 150,000 euros ($159,367) in her apartment.