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Vice-President of the European Parliament taken into custody – World

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European Parliament Vice President Eva Kaili and three others were placed in preventive detention this Sunday in Belgium after they were charged as part of an investigation into alleged Qatar-related corruption at the institution, a judicial source said.

The Federal Ministry of Public Information did not name names when it announced the preventive detention of four of the six people arrested in the past 48 hours.

According to a source in the judiciary, told France Presse, Eva Kaili is one of the four people arrested and in pre-trial detention.

She cannot exercise her parliamentary immunity because the crime she is accused of was solved “at the crime scene” on Friday, the same source explained.

Four people were arrested after they were charged by an investigating judge in Brussels with “belonging to a criminal organization, money laundering and corruption,” according to a press release from the federal prosecutor’s office.

Two other people were released by the judge.

This source confirmed press reports that Kylie had “bags of tickets” on Friday night when she was arrested by Belgian police.

The U.S. Attorney’s office also said the home of the second congressman was searched Saturday night.

In this case, “there are suspicions of paying large sums of money or offering significant gifts to third parties with a political and / or strategic position that allows them to influence decisions in the European Parliament” of this institution, the statement emphasizes.

On Saturday evening, the President of the European Parliament, Maltese Roberta Metsola, decided on the first sanction against Eva Kaili: she was deprived of all the powers delegated by Metsola, including representing her interests in the Middle East region.

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Left-wing MEPs, including environmentalist Philippe Lamberts, on behalf of the Greens group in the European Parliament, on Friday night demanded the resignation of Kylie, who was expelled from the Greek Socialist Party (Pasok-Kinal).

On Friday, Brussels police raided 16 homes and arrested, including Kylie’s companion, who is currently collaborating with a group of socialists and social democrats in the European Parliament.

Le Soir and Knack also on Friday announced the existence of an investigation into an alleged case of corruption, criminal organization and money laundering initiated by the Attorney General of the Republic of Belgium in July on the suspicion that Qatar would try to influence the position of the EP.

“For several months now, police investigators have suspected that the Gulf state is trying to influence the economic and political decisions of the European Parliament,” the Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.

This state would implement this strategy by “paying significant sums of money and offering important gifts to third parties, people in important political or strategic positions in the European Parliament,” he added.

Although Belgian prosecutors do not explicitly mention Qatar, both Belgian media outlets cite several sources as confirming that it is the host country for the World Cup.

As part of an investigation by a judge specializing in financial crimes, searches were carried out in the homes of parliamentary advisers to the European Parliament.

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Vladimir Putin has delayed the invasion of Ukraine at least three times.

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Putin has repeatedly consulted with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the invasion, Europa Press told Ukraine’s chief intelligence director Vadim Skibitsky.

According to Skibitsky, it was the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counterintelligence and espionage work, that put pressure on Gerasimov and other military agencies to agree to launch an offensive. .

However, according to the Ukrainian intelligence services, the FSB considered that by the end of February sufficient preparations had already been made to guarantee the success of the Russian Armed Forces in a lightning invasion.

However, according to Kyiv, the Russian General Staff provided the Russian troops with supplies and ammunition for only three days, hoping that the offensive would be swift and immediately successful.

The head of Ukrainian intelligence also emphasized the cooperation of local residents, who always provided the Ukrainian authorities with up-to-date information about the Russian army, such as the number of soldiers or the exact location of troops.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

See also  Sweden sends tanks and soldiers to the Baltic island in the face of the Russian threat

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia

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A Stockholm court on Monday sentenced a former Swedish intelligence officer to life in prison for spying for Russia, and his brother to at least 12 years in prison. In what is considered one of the most serious cases in Swedish counterintelligence history, much of the trial took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

According to the prosecution, it was Russian military intelligence, the GRU, who took advantage of the information provided by the two brothers between 2011 and their arrest at the end of 2021.

Peyman Kia, 42, has held many senior positions in the Swedish security apparatus, including the army and his country’s intelligence services (Säpo). His younger brother, Payam, 35, is accused of “participating in the planning” of the plot and of “managing contacts with Russia and the GRU, including passing on information and receiving financial rewards.”

Both men deny the charges, and their lawyers have demanded an acquittal on charges of “aggravated espionage,” according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The trial coincides with another case of alleged Russian espionage, with the arrest of the Russian-born couple in late November in a suburb of Stockholm by a police team arriving at dawn in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Research website Bellingcat identified them as Sergei Skvortsov and Elena Kulkova. The couple allegedly acted as sleeper agents for Moscow, having moved to Sweden in the late 1990s.

According to Swedish press reports, the couple ran companies specializing in the import and export of electronic components and industrial technology.

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The man was again detained at the end of November for “illegal intelligence activities.” His partner, suspected of being an accomplice, has been released but remains under investigation.

According to Swedish authorities, the arrests are not related to the trial of the Kia brothers.

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World

Ukraine admitted that Russia may announce a general mobilization

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“They can strengthen their positions. We understand that this can happen. At the same time, we do not rule out that they will announce a general mobilization,” Danilov said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online publication.

Danilov believed that this mobilization would also be convened “to exterminate as many as possible” of Russian citizens, so that “they would no longer have any problems on their territory.”

In this sense, Danilov also reminded that Russia has not given up on securing control over Kyiv or the idea of ​​the complete “destruction” of Ukraine. “We have to be ready for anything,” he said.

“I want everyone to understand that [os russos] they have not given up on the idea of ​​destroying our nation. If they don’t have Kyiv in their hands, they won’t have anything in their hands, we must understand this,” continued Danilov, who also did not rule out that a new Russian offensive would come from “Belarus and other territories.” .

As such, Danilov praised the decision of many of its residents who chose to stay in the Ukrainian capital when the war broke out in order to defend the city.

“They expected that there would be panic, that people would run, that there would be nothing to protect Kyiv,” he added, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

See also  Sweden sends tanks and soldiers to the Baltic island in the face of the Russian threat

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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