The Czech state attorney’s office spokeswoman Stepanka Zenklova told journalists that the prosecution of Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) over the EU subsidy of 50m crowns for the construction of the Stork Nest conference centre and farm will continue.
State attorney Jaroslav Saroch rejected Babis’ complaint about his prosecution as unsubstantiated, Zenklova said.
As reported by the Prague Daily Monitor, Zenklova confirmed the information of the daily Pravo that the prosecution of ANO deputy chairman Jaroslav Faltynek and another three persons, also implicated in the case, had been cancelled.
“The complaints raised by Babis and another six persons were turned down as unsubstantiated. The decision on the start of a criminal prosecution is still valid,” Zenklova said.
“The complaints filed by Faltynek and another three persons were endorsed. The resolution about their prosecution was cancelled,” she added.
Pravo wrote that the decision related to the members of the board of the company ZZN Pelhrimov, which had owned the Stork Nest, Zdenek Kubiska and Jan Platil, and also Ludek Kalivoda, who was on the board of the Farma Capi hnizdo (Stork Nest Farm) firm.
In addition to the charges against Babis and Faltynek, the police brought charges of an EU subsidy fraud against another nine people, including Babis’ wife Monika Babisova and his two adult children, reported the Prague Daily Monitor.
Following October’s general election, Babis and Faltynek regained lawmakers’ immunity, due to which the police had to ask the Chamber of Deputies for their release for prosecution again.
Until late 2007, the Farma Capi hnizdo company belonged to Babis’ Agrofert concern. Afterwards, its stake was transferred to bearer shares so that Capi hnizdo as a small firm could win the subsidy of 50m crowns, for which a firm of the huge Agrofert could never be eligible. It observed this condition for a few years, but later it became part of Agrofert again.
The investigators concluded that there was no economic or trade reason to make the change.
Due to the change, it was impossible to find the owner of the firm which gained a European subsidy for small and medium-sized businesses in summer 2008.
Babis transferred Agrofert to trust funds in February 2017 in order to comply with an amended conflict of interest law