Qatar spends millions in buying European Parliament


Eva Kaili, a vice president of the European Parliament and vocal defender of Doha, landed in police custody on allegations on receiving bribe from Qatar. Writes Daniel Greenfield

First, it was a future king.

Prince Charles personally accepted suitcases and shopping bags stuffed with millions of dollars’ worth of cash from a controversial Qatari politician between 2011 and 2015, according to an explosive new report.

“Everyone felt very uncomfortable about the situation,” a former adviser to the Prince of Wales told the Sunday Times of London.

Now, it’s the European Parliament.

A series of at least 16 raids by the Belgian federal police Friday netted five people they said had committed “alleged offenses of criminal organization, corruption and money laundering.” The morning searches yielded €600,000 in cash, plus phones and computers…

By the evening, however, it was clear this wasn’t just a story of some has-beens and wannabes lining their pockets. Eva Kaili, a vice president of the European Parliament and vocal defender of Doha, landed in police custody, according to the Belgian federal police. The case also centers around an NGO that, until recently, counted some of the biggest luminaries in left-wing politics among its board members.

Kaili has also emerged as one of the most vocal defenders of Qatar. She recently called the country a “frontrunner in labor rights” after meeting with the country’s labor minister, despite deep international concerns about conditions for stadium construction workers. A member of the center-left Socialist & Democrat (S&D) party, her portfolio includes special responsibilities related to the Middle East.

Kaili’s partner and co-parent, Francesco Giorgi, has also been detained, according to police and people with direct knowledge. He’s an adviser on the Middle East and North Africa region in the European Parliament — and a founder of an NGO called Fight Impunity

Crucially, Fight Impunity’s president is Pier Antonio Panzeri, a central figure in the case. Panzeri, an Italian ex-MEP also from the S&D, was among those arrested Friday morning. By the evening, his wife and daughter were also nabbed by Italian police.

There’s a lot more of that. And there’s no need for Americans to look smug. In Europe, you can still publicly criticize Qatar. In America, criticism of the Islamic terror state linked to everything from Hamas to Al Qaeda to the Muslim Brotherhood to the Taliban simply does not exist.

The media is in Qatar’s pocket, from the Washington Post and its grand Khashoggi crusade, to MSNBC and the New York Times which vigorously defended it during the World Cup. Al Jazeera, Qatar’s state propaganda network, virtually defines the coverage of the region.

And politics? The Democrats are owned by Qatar, but few Republicans criticize it either. One of the few Republicans to regularly talk about Qatar’s control over our politics is Senator Ted Cruz.

Otherwise, crickets.

Recently, I had an article on the revelation that Qatar’s domestic operatives were spying on a Republican congressman who had been critical of the Muslim Brotherhood. What should be a major story has been fairly thoroughly buried.

The European media at least runs negative coverage of Qatar and is now busting up some of its hirelings. If we did that in D.C., I’m not sure anyone would be left.


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