Prague, May 3 (CTK) – The prosecution of Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) over the EU subsidy of 50 million crowns for the construction of the Stork Nest conference centre and farm will continue, state attorney’s office spokeswoman Stepanka Zenklova told journalists on Thursday.
State attorney Jaroslav Saroch has rejected Babis’s complaint about his prosecution as unsubstantiated, Zenklova said.
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.
Along with Babis and Faltynek, the police brought charges of an EU subsidy fraud against another nine people, including Babis’s wife Monika Babisova and his two adult children.
The media wrote recently that Babis’s children had presented medical reports to the police saying that for serious health reasons they could not take part in the investigation.
The complaints about the start of their criminal prosecution were submitted by all the 11 defendants last autumn.
After the October 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’s Agrofert concern. Afterwards, its stake was transferred to bearer shares so that Capi hnizdo as a small firm could win the subsidy of 50 million 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.
In February 2017, Babis transferred Agrofert to trust funds to comply with an amended conflict of interest law.
The Finance Ministry announced in late January that the Capi hnizdo project was withdrawn from the EU-funded programmes.