EU credibility at stake in European Parliament graft probe: ministers

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The European Union’s credibility is at stake, EU foreign ministers warned on Monday, following allegations Qatar lavished cash and gifts on European Parliament officials to influence decision-making.

Greece on Monday froze the assets of a key suspect in the case, Eva Kaili, a vice president in the European Parliament and one of four people arrested and charged in Belgium over the weekend, a source with knowledge of the matter said.

Kaili’s office did not respond to a request for a comment. Qatar has denied any wrongdoing.

Belgian prosecutors searched 16 houses and seized 600,000 euros ($631,800) in Brussels on Friday as part of the probe.

Four people were subsequently charged with “participation in a criminal organisation, money laundering and corruption,” prosecutors said in a statement on Sunday.

They did not name the suspects, but the European Parliament said at the weekend it had suspended Kaili from her duties, while the Greek socialist PASOK party announced it was expelling her from its ranks.—AFP