European Interest

Olaf finalises report on Czech PM’s farm

The European Anti-Fraud Office (Olaf) on December 27 submitted to the Czech Republic its final report on alleged EU subsidy fraud in the Capi hnizdo case.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis and his ANO party’s deputy head, Jaroslav Faltynek, are among the 11 people who are facing charges in the case.

As reported by the Prague Daily Monitor, the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech parliament, released Babis and Faltynek for prosecution in September. 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.

Last week, the European Commission called on the Czech Republic to withdraw the costs of the Capi hnizdo (Stork Nest) project from the EU-subsidised ROP SC. But the finance ministry has yet to respond.

Until 2007, the Capi hnizdo company belonged to Babis’s Agrofert Holding concern. Afterwards, its stake was transferred to bearer shares for a small firm to reach a 50m crown EU subsidy, which a firm of the huge Agrofert Holding could not get.

According to the Prague Daily Monitor, the company eventually returned to Babis’ concern.

In 2016, he told a session of the Chamber of Deputies that at the time of acquisition of the subsidy, the farm was owned by two of his children and his partner’s brother.

Explore more