Eva Kaili, vice-president of the European Parliament and a vocal supporter of Doha, was taken into police custody.
First, he was a future king.
Prince Charles personally accepted suitcases and shopping bags filled with millions of dollars in cash from a controversial Qatari politician between 2011 and 2015, according to an explosive new report.
“Everyone was very uncomfortable with the situation,” a former adviser to the Prince of Wales told the London Sunday Times.
Now, it is the European Parliament.
A series of at least 16 raids by Belgian federal police on Friday identified five people they said had committed “alleged crimes of criminal organization, corruption and money laundering.” Searches in the morning turned up €600,000 in cash, plus phones and computers…
However, by night, it became clear that this was not just a story of some who had been and would-be to line their pockets. Eva Kaili, the vice-president of the European Parliament and a vocal supporter of Doha, was taken into police custody, according to the Belgian federal police. The case also centers on an NGO that, until recently, counted some of the biggest luminaries in left-wing politics on its board of directors.
Kaili has also become one of Qatar’s most vocal defenders. He recently called the country “top on 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 and Democratic (S&D) party, his portfolio includes special responsibilities related to the Middle East.
Kaili’s partner and co-father, Francesco Giorgi, has also been detained, according to police and people with direct knowledge. He is an adviser on the Middle East and North Africa region in the European Parliament, and founder of an NGO called Fight Impunity.
Crucially, the president of Fight Impunity is Pier Antonio Panzeri, a central figure in the case. Panzeri, a former Italian MEP also from S&D, was among those arrested on Friday morning. In the evening, the Italian police also arrested his wife and daughter.
There’s a lot more to that. And there’s no need for Americans to look smug. In Europe, Qatar can still be publicly criticized. In the United States, criticism of the Islamic terrorist state linked to everything from Hamas to al Qaeda to the Muslim Brotherhood to the Taliban simply doesn’t exist.
The media is in Qatar’s pocket, from the Washington Post and its big Khashoggi crusade, to MSNBC and the New York Times who vigorously defended it during the World Cup. Al Jazeera, Qatar’s state propaganda network, virtually defines coverage of the region.
And the politics? The Democrats are owned by Qatar, but few Republicans are critical of it either. One of the few Republicans who regularly talks about Qatar’s control over our politics is Senator Ted Cruz.
Recently, I had an article about the revelation that Qatari domestic agents were spying on a Republican congressman who had criticized the Muslim Brotherhood. What should be an important story has been buried pretty deep.
The European media at least have negative coverage of Qatar and are now arresting some of their mercenaries. If we did that in DC, I’m not sure anyone would be left.