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Czech officials continue investigating poisoned Bečva River

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In September, a massive contamination of Bečva River was discovered to have killed over 40 tonnes of fish, prompting an investigation by Czech police. The exact cause of the poisoned water has yet to be found, but speculation is mainly focused on a nearby chemical plant whose officials deny any wrong doing.

“The poisoning of Bečva River has become not just an ecological catastrophe in central Moravia, but a case in point for the complete disfunction of our political instutions in our democratic state,” said Petr Gazdík, chairman of the Mayors and Independents (STAN).

Gazdík called for the resignation of ANO’s Minister of the Environment Richard Brabec, stating: “Either he and his ministry failed, or he’s part of a cover-up to protect the company that polluted Bečva and caused this ecological disaster.”

The company in question happens to belong to the prime minister, and is the main employer of the area, sparking conjecture of a conflict of interest for the investigation.

DEZA, a holding company of Agrofert, originally founded by prime minister Andrej Babiš in 1993, said it was certain they had nothing to do with it, but some are skeptical of their claims given that on the day of the contamination, DEZA reported an accident at their plant which caused a spillage of chemical byproduct. They say it was completely unrelated.

“We’re 100% sure that this accident was not, and could not have been the cause of the fish poisoning. No rainwater or wastewater that’s contaminated with any toxic substance could ever enter Bečva River, “said Agrofert spokesman Karel Hanzelka.

The investigation is ongoing at this time.

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