ATHENS — Eva Kaili will meet her 22-month-old daughter in prison on Friday, according to her Greek lawyer Michalis Dimitrakopoulos.
Previous requests by the Greek MEP, who’s currently detained at the Haren prison in Brussels pending trial over corruption allegations, were rejected, with the Belgian authorities citing lack of personnel due to the holiday period and staff shortages, Dimitrakopoulos told local Alpha TV on Thursday.
He went on to say that the authorities likely used the child as a means of pressure to “break” the former MEP.
“It crossed my mind that they were pressuring Kaili to confess, which is why they did not let her see her child,” he said.
Dimitrakopoulos said that Amnesty International and other organizations pushed the Belgian authorities to approve the visit. Amnesty International wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Kaili will meet her daughter for three hours on Friday afternoon, according to Greek media.
The member of European Parliament and former Parliament vice president has been in jail since December 9, after being arrested and charged in a sprawling probe into Qatar’s lobbying operation in Brussels that has also ensnared Kaili’s partner, a former MEP and the head of a nongovernmental organization.
Dimitrakopoulos said that the authorities “have no evidence to substantiate and link Eva Kaili to money and bribery.”
“The Belgians have found no evidence of the core offense of bribery, so the next-most-serious offense of money laundering does not stand,” he said in a separate interview on local Skai TV, adding that her lawyers will ask for restrictive conditions instead of detention. “We may have developments even before 22 January, when her detention is scheduled to be reexamined.”
“Kaili cannot cooperate in this matter with the authorities because she knows nothing about her husband’s delinquent behavior,” Dimitrakopoulos said, as “she did not search her husband’s suitcase and briefcase.”
She claims that she learned about the money on the day of her partner’s arrest and panicked, then called her father and told him to get the baby’s suitcase and bottles from her flat. He was picked up at a Brussels hotel with a suitcase full of cash — which according to an arrest warrant, she asked him to get from her apartment.