Live news: Three suspects to remain in custody amid Qatar corruption probe

Three of the four suspects arrested in a Belgian probe into corruption and money laundering at the European parliament remain in custody, while a fourth has been released with an electronic tag, according to the country’s federal prosecutor.

A judge in Brussels ruled on Wednesday that former MEP Pier Antonio Panzeri, his former aide Federico Giorgi, and Eva Kaili, a vice-president of the parliament, should remain in custody on charges of corruption, money laundering and criminal organisation in the Qatar-related scandal engulfing the European parliament.

Nicolo Figa-Talamanca, who runs a human rights charity, was released with a tag to track his movements.

Kaili, a Greek Socialist who has been stripped of her vice-presidential office, asked to postpone her hearing and remains in jail until her appearance on December 22.

The Belgian authorities have said the suspects worked with a Gulf state to influence the parliament, with several people naming it as World Cup host Qatar. Kaili and Panzeri deny the charges.

Police said on Wednesday that they had found around €1.5mn cash, including several hundred thousand in a suitcase in a Brussels hotel room, in raids that started on Friday.

The defendants can appeal against the decision within 24 hours.

Parliament will debate on Thursday how to toughen its anti-corruption procedures.

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