Custody of ex-European Parliament VP Kaili extended amid graft probe

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BRUSSELS, March 3 (Reuters) – A Belgian judge ruled on Friday that European lawmaker Eva Kaili would remain in custody for two more months as an investigation continues into corruption charges in a graft case involving World Cup host Qatar, Belgian prosecutors said.

Kaili, a 44-year-old Greek Socialist, was stripped of her role as European Parliament Vice President over the case late last year, after she was accused of accepting bribes from Qatar in one of the biggest corruption scandals to hit the EU.

Belgian prosecutors also ruled that self-suspended Belgian EU lawmaker Marc Tarabella would remain in custody for another month, as he is investigated in the corruption probe as well.

Belgian prosecutors have charged both Kaili and Tarabella with taking part in a criminal organisation, money laundering and corruption.

Both Kaili and Tarabella have denied any wrongdoing.

The so-called Qatargate scandal erupted last December when authorities charged four people linked to the European Parliament – which sits in the Belgian capital Brussels – over allegations that World Cup host Qatar lavished them with cash and gifts to influence decision-making.

The Gulf state has denied any wrongdoing.

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