Eva Kaili, the Greek MEP who became the most famous face of a corruption scandal engulfing the European Parliament, was released on Wednesday after more than four months behind bars.
Her lawyer, Sven Marie, confirmed to Euronews that the lawmaker will now be placed under house arrest with an electronic bracelet.
“I will not be giving any further comment beyond the fact that this was a logical decision that took a long time to make,” Marie said in a brief statement.
The Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office confirmed this information.
The decision came as a surprise since it was announced one day before he was scheduled to appear before a judge on Thursday morning.
Kylie will be subject to regular hearings to either extend or remove the electronic monitoring.
The Greek MP was arrested for the first time on December 9, when she was reportedly caught in the act and her parliamentary immunity was immediately lifted.
The 44-year-old was then charged with participation in a criminal organization, corruption and money laundering, and was later moved to Haren prison, located on the outskirts of Brussels, as part of her pre-trial detention.
Her arrest sent shockwaves through Brussels and highlighted an investigation into a cash-for-favorites scheme that involved “substantial” sums of money and “significant” gifts allegedly paid by Qatar and Morocco in order to influence European policymaking.
Both countries deny any wrongdoing.
Belgian police seized more than €1.5 million in cash across dozens of home and office searches.
In the aftermath of the scandal, Kylie removed from her position as one of the vice-presidents of the European Parliament and suspended from the party, a dramatic turn of events for a lawmaker who has been considered A rising star in cycling And a media-friendly personality.
The 44-year-old remains an unrelated MEP member and is entitled to an after-tax salary of €7,146 per month.
Kylie was one of the five people arrested and criminally charged by the Belgian authorities, along with her domestic partner Francesco Giorgi, former MEP Pier Antonio Panzieri, NGO director Niccolò Vega Talamanca and Belgian MP Marc Tarabella.
The four men had already been granted release from prison, making Kylie the latest defendant to receive parole.
Her defense team, consisting of Belgian lawyer Sven Marie and Greek lawyer Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, had strongly objected to Kylie’s continued imprisonment and demanded her release.
“Eva Kylie left prison with her head held high and with dignity. She did not confess to crimes she did not commit,” Dimitracopoulos said.
She will fight for her innocence to the end.
In an exclusive interview with Euronews On Tuesday, Marie alleged that investigators failed to find any new evidence to support the case against Kylie and attacked the district attorney’s office for keeping her behind bars as a “trophy.”
“Ms. Kylie was raised as a symbol to say: ‘Even if you hold a high position, you will stay in prison.'” Mary told Euronews: “Don’t commit corruption because you will be in prison for a long time.”
The Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office declined to comment on the lawyer’s accusations.
It was not immediately clear if Kylie would spend her house arrest in the same residence as Francesco Giorgi, from whom she had a two-year-old daughter.
Giorgi used to work as a parliamentary aide, first to Pier Antonio Panzieri, the supposed ringleader behind the corruption scheme, and later to Andrea Cozzolino, an Italian MEP fighting extradition from Italy to Belgium.
Panziri took place in January A deal with the authorities whereby he admits his criminal participation in bribery and commits to sharing “disclosing” details about the cash-for-service program.
“Infuriatingly humble analyst. Bacon maven. Proud food specialist. Certified reader. Avid writer. Zombie advocate. Incurable problem solver.”