‘Qatar scandal’ that hit the European Parliament… 6 arrested on bribery charges
Key figures in the European Parliament, including Vice-President Eva Kylie (44, photo) of the European Parliament, were indicted on the 11th (local time) on charges of accepting large sums of bribes from Qatar, the host country of the 2022 World Cup. Foreign media such as the New York Times (NYT) reported that Qatar, which had been embroiled in controversy even before the World Cup was held, including violations of workers’ human rights and suppression of sexual minorities, appears to have launched a bribery offensive to make international public opinion friendly. The case is called the ‘Qatar Scandal’ and is evaluated as “the worst corruption case in the history of the European Parliament.”
According to the Belgian daily Lesoir and the US political media Politico, Belgian police officers arrested Vice-Chairman Kylie, an aide from the European Parliament’s Socialist Party Group (S&D), former member of the European Parliament Pierre Antonio Pancheri, Luca Vicentini, the secretary-general of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), was arrested. In addition, 16 places including the residence of the person involved were searched and seized, and a suitcase containing 600,000 euros (about 825 million won) was confiscated from the house of Vice Chairman Kylie. Belgian prosecutors indicted four people, including Deputy Speaker Kylie, on charges of money laundering and corruption on the 11th. Greek authorities have frozen the assets of Kylie, a Greek-born politician.
Prosecutors did not point out Qatar while announcing, “They appear to have received a large sum of money from a third-party Gulf country for the purpose of influencing the decision 메이저사이트 of the European Parliament.” However, foreign media quoted an unnamed official from the European Parliament and reported in unison that “the bribe donor is Qatar.”
The Qatar World Cup was criticized even before it was held as a ‘World Cup against human rights oppression’. After Qatar succeeded in hosting the 2010 World Cup, foreign workers who were mobilized in large numbers to build stadiums suffered from heat waves, poor working conditions, delayed wages, and even deaths.
In a speech to the European Parliament last month, Kylie, who was indicted, said, “Qatar is a leader in labor rights. Europe is discriminating and harassing Qatar,” he defended Qatar. Right before the opening of the World Cup, he visited Qatar and expressed his support to the Minister of Labor of Qatar.
Transparency International CEO Mihil van Hilton criticized it as “the most egregious case of corruption the European Parliament has witnessed in recent years.” Politico pointed out, “As not only the parliament but also the International Federation of Trade Unions are involved, the corruption scandal could spread throughout Brussels.”
“We reject any attempt to link the investigation with the Qatari government,” the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. Allegations that Qatar was involved are unfounded and misinformed.” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “We are taking this matter very seriously.”