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Key suspect in EU corruption case can remove electronic bracelet

BRUSSELS (AP) — The key suspect at the heart of the corruption scandal that rocked the European Union’s assembly last year no longer has to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office said Thursday.

Former parliament vice president Eva Kaili was under electronic surveillance and house arrest since her release from jail last month while the investigation into the money-for-political favors case continued. The office said in a statement that the probe “no longer requires her detention.”

“This release is subject to the usual conditions in such cases,” the statement read. Asked about the new conditions imposed on Kaili and whether she could travel abroad, a spokesperson at the prosecutor’s office said he could not elaborate.

The Greek lawmaker was removed as vice president after she was taken into custody late last year on charges of corruption, money laundering and membership in a criminal organization. She denies wrongdoing, her lawyers said.

Belgian prosecutors suspect that Kaili was among several people who were allegedly paid by Qatar and Morocco to influence decision-making at the assembly. Both countries deny the allegations.

The scandal came to public attention on Dec. 9 after police launched more than 20 raids, mostly in Belgium but also in Italy. Hundreds of thousands of euros were found at a home and in a suitcase at a hotel in Brussels.

The Associated Press