Qatargate: Eva Kaili’s Detainment And Child Visitation

“It has been decided to give my client status as if she is in a state where she is serving a sentence,” says her lawyer.
A report by the Belgian newspaper “La Libre” refers to Eva Kaili, the conditions of her detention in Haaren prison and why she has seen her child only twice since the day of her arrest.
“On January 19, the pre-trial council of Brussels extended the temporary detention of Eva Kaili, who since December 9 has been in Haaren prison, which is a new penitentiary,” the publication states.
But her lawyers, Andre Rizopoulos and Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, denounce the “medieval” detention conditions. They add that Eva Kaili has only been allowed to see her almost two-year-old daughter twice since she was arrested.”
Information From Newspaper
As the newspaper explains, “Prison visits are governed by a set of very specific rules. Thus, the accused (that is, people who have not yet been tried) can receive visitors every day. Convicts (ie people whose trial has already taken place) can receive visitors three times a week. These visits are always organized on three different days, including at least one during the weekend and a Wednesday afternoon, which makes it easier for the children to visit.”
He adds that since Eva Kaili is in temporary custody, she should benefit from daily visits. According to her lawyer, Mr. Rizopoulos, “it was decided to give my client status as if she is in a state where she is serving a sentence.” He adds that his client is entitled to two visits a month as part of “family visits” (a private visit that allows her to see her spouse or child in a more intimate setting).
“My client did not see her child in December, she saw her twice in the same weekend in January and there will not be another visit until February” adds Andre Rizopoulos according to the newspaper “La Libre”, speaking of something “incomprehensible” .
“Who decided this special status?” I do not know. All I know is that a paper was given to the jail saying that a visit, this weekend, under family visitation conditions, is a no. We will have to wait until February,” he says.
The newspaper adds that in contact with the prison administration it was pointed out that there is no authorization to discuss the specific case of the prisoner, but it explains that the general rules in Haaren are as follows: “Every prisoner has the right to have a visit (classic visit ) and there is also the right to a family visit twice a month. In Haaren, family visits last three hours each time.’
“Eva Kaili therefore has the opportunity to see her daughter every day, but in the context of a classic visit” notes the publication and adds that “but it seems that the former vice-president of the European Parliament really wants to see her child in a more intimate environment every day, which is not allowed.”
The newspaper turned to Mark Premon, professor of criminal procedure at ULB, asking for an answer on whether there is a violation of the child’s rights, who says that “it all depends on what is meant by the term violation. When a child is temporarily separated from their parents, care should always be taken to maintain contact with the parents. But this contact may not be daily.”
The professor clarifies that there are cases where, for example, the investigator intervenes to prohibit certain visits. “This happens for example if the investigator suspects that a friend who wishes to visit (someone in prison) could actually be an accomplice. But it is obvious that the children will not be suspicious of anything,” he adds.
As for the possibility of Eva Kaili having her child with her during her detention, Mark Premon reports that this is not something common: “There are women who give birth in prison and the infant stays with its mother, but there is a age limit so that children don’t stay there indefinitely.”
At the same time, the Flemish-language newspaper “Het Nieuwsblad” in an article entitled “the luxurious space for foreign prison customers” states that the Jaaren prison, which was inaugurated in September, aimed to forget “medieval Foret and Saint-Gilles ».
He notes that the new prison complex is the largest in the country and is equipped with all modern tools and techniques. He explains that there is a holding area for male suspects, a prison for men, a closed institution for women, an open institution for women, an observation unit, a psychiatric ward and a medical center.
“And yet Haaren prison proves the complete bankruptcy of the Belgian prison system. Six months after the complex opened, Haaren has mostly Dutch criminals and corrupt MEPs like Eva Kaili. Dutch courts routinely refuse to extradite nationals to our country because living conditions in Belgian prisons violate human rights. Due to overcrowding in prisons such as the Begenestraat (Antwerp), the cells are filled with prisoners who have to sleep on the floor, who have to eat while their fellow inmate defecates or masturbates a few meters away,” the publication says.
He adds that “the government of a civilized country would have done something about these degrading conditions a long time ago, but Belgian politicians have been letting these problems fester for decades. Even now that the Dutch are threatening to stop sending nationals to Belgium, the government is not taking structural measures. No, our government gives Dutch criminals preferential treatment. The Dutch are guaranteed to enter a fresh cell, with a clean bed and a closed toilet. Thus (they lead) to Haaren.’
Finally, the newspaper reports, “those also getting a place in the new luxury prison for foreign prison clients are the corrupt MEPs who thought their 10,000 euro a month starvation wages should be topped up with bribes from Qatar. Imagine if the Italians or the Greeks came to see how things are going in our prisons?”.
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