Czech Finance Minister Alena Schillerova said her ministry will analyse the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) report on suspected EU subsidy fraud in the Capi hnizdo case to determine whether it can be published. The case directly implicates Prime Minister Andrej Babis.
The minister said she has also asked OLAF to publish the report, which was received last week.
As reported by the Prague Daily Monitor, the ministry passed the OLAF report to the institutions to which the case may relate: the Regional Development Ministry, to which the Regional Operational Programme for cohesion in Central Bohemia (ROP SC) reports, and to the Supreme State Attorney’s Office.
The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech parliament, released Babis and his ANO party’s deputy head Jaroslav Faltynek for prosecution in September as they may be implicated in the case.
However, their prosecution was interrupted as both were re-elected to the Chamber of Deputies and regained lawmakers’ immunity in October. The police asked for their release for prosecution again, but the lower house has not decided on it yet, reported the Prague Daily Monitor.
Eleven people, including Babis and Faltynek, are facing charges in the case.
“The Finance Ministry cannot publish the report before it has an analysis from lawyers and information from OLAF. It may also turn to the state attorney supervising the case,” explained Schillerova, who said she had not read the report from OLAF
Meanwhile, the European Commission has recommended that the Czech Republic exempt the Capi hnizdo farm from the projects sponsored by European funds.
Babis and Faltynek both deny any wrongdoing and say their prosecution is politically motivated.
In related news, Dominik Feri, a deputy for the TOP 09 party, has asked the ministry for the report. He posted a requested on Facebook. The Pirate party has also called for the report.
“I am convinced that citizens have the right to know the conclusions of the report because they already paid the 50m subsidy for Capi hnizdo,” Jakub Michalek, chairman of the Pirates group, said.
“It should be certainly released at first to the deputies as they are to vote about confidence in the government of Prime Minister Andrej Babis and about the release for prosecution of Babis and ANO deputy head Jaroslav Faltynek,” he added.
As reported by the Prague Daily Monitor, some parties have denied support for a government headed by Babis arguing that a prosecuted man cannot be the prime minister.