Prague, Feb 1 (CTK) – Czech finance minister and billionaire Andrej Babis (ANO) will have two audits of his past incomes completed and released, he said on Czech Television (CT) late on Tuesday in reaction to media speculations about a suspicious origin of his property.
The server Echo24 has reported that Babis bought bonds issued by Agrofert, his own giant chemical and food holding, for 1.5 billion crowns in 2013, though his incomes could not have exceeded 1.11 billion by the time, not enough to buy the bonds.
In reaction to Echo24, Babis said that apart from the above incomes that were subject to taxation, he had untaxed incomes of 650 million crowns from the sale of firms and shares, and from previous businesses.
Babis faces a criminal complaint over the suspicious purchase of the bonds. He has dismissed any wrongdoing on his part and said the complaint is an expedient, politically motivated step.
Last night, he said he wants to dispel the doubts about his property by having two audits completed.
“I have addressed two renowned auditors and asked them to complete an independent audit,” he told CT, adding that he will release the audits’ results.
“May the same be done by all those who criticise me,” Babis added.
In the past days, the unclear circumstances of Babis’s bonds deal were presented by public CT in its 168 hodin and Reporteri CT current affairs programmes.
Earlier on Tuesday, Babis said he will lodge a complaint against the relevant reports with the CT Council and the Radio and Television Broadcasting Council. He called the reports expedient and their authors corrupt.
CT asked Babis to prove his accusations or apologise.
“I am definitely not going to apologise,” Babis said on CT late on Tuesday.
“You have allowed for a current affairs programme to latently turn into an instrument of political struggle, and you provoke an untrue, false impression,” he told CT.
He said he will release an analysis of the two reports to prove their manipulative character.
Established by Babis in 2011, the ANO movement entered parliament in the 2013 election and formed the centre-right government together with the Social Democrats (CSSD) and the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) in early 2014.
It has comfortably led party popularity polls for many months and is widely considered a hot favourite in the general election due this autumn.