Graft case MEP Kaili allowed to remove electronic tag
Greek MEP Eva Kaili, the face of the "Qatargate" corruption scandal, has been allowed to remove an electronic ankle tag and freed from house arrest pending trial, prosecutors said Thursday.
Kaili was arrested in Brussels in December by police investigating alleged graft in the European Parliament, before being released to house arrest in April. She denies all charges.
A spokesman for federal prosecutors, Eric Van Duyse, said the investigating magistrate had ruled that it was "no longer necessary" to control Kaili's movements as the probe continues.
Several more European politicians and parliamentary aides were arrested and charged as part of Belgian investigation, but now all but one have been freed from house arrest.
Investigators allege that Belgian former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, who is cooperating with the inquiry, ran a ring distributing bribes to promote the interests of Qatar and Morocco.
Both governments angrily deny playing any role.
The scandal erupted in December last year when police raided several properties in Brussels and seized at least 1.5 million euros in cash stored in suitcases and bags.
Kaili, 44, is a former newsreader and was a rising star in the European Parliament, serving as vice-president of the chamber for the socialist group.
She remains an MEP, and has suggested she may try to return to work, but has been stripped of the vice-president's role and excluded from her political group.