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Babiš wants to clear his name in court fast

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Prague, Sept 6 (CTK) – ANO leader Andrej Babis and ANO deputy chairman Jaroslav Faltynek want to clear their names as fast as possible in court, they told journalists after the Czech Chamber of Deputies decided to release them for prosecution over a scandal with EU subsidies.

They said the affair was an attempt at influencing the October 20-21 general election and denied any wrongdoing.

“Although I basically disagree with the police request, we agreed with the release. We will naturally do our utmost to clear our names,” Babis said.

He said the case of the Capi hnizdo (Stork Nest) farm and congress complex was a pseudo scandal fabricated by the media.

“I hope that voters are not stupid and that they will understand this,” Babis said.

“I voted for my release for the same reasons as Babis. I did not do anything bad, I believe that we will clear our names before an independent court,” Faltynek said, adding that he was about to use all available legal means.

He said he wanted to call on the investigators to hold the trial as soon as possible, although it was clear that it was not possible to do this before the election.

Babis and Faltynek have been facing a criminal complaint over the Capi hnizdo (Stork Nest) farm and congress complex since the late 2015. In 2007-08, the Capi hnizdo firm was a part of Agrofert, a giant chemical, agricultural and food-processing concern, of which Babis is the sole owner, though his ownership is not direct anymore.

Afterwards, the firm’s owner changed through a chain of transactions that made the new owner hard to identify. Then it gained a 50-million-crown EU subsidy designed for small firms, which it could never gain as part of Agrofert. A few years later, it rejoined Agrofert.

Faltynek is ANO first deputy chairman and a former top manager in Agrofert.

The European AntiFraud Office (OLAF) has also been looking into the Capi hnizdo subsidy. It could complete the investigation by the year’s end.

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