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Court halts Agrotec’s prosecution over Czech Post contracts

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Prague, Feb 9 (CTK) – The Prague Municipal Court halted the prosecution of Agrotec, a part of the Agrofert Holding which Deputy PM Andrej Babis owned until recently, for suspected manipulation of public procurement, but the state attorney has appealed the step, the court spokeswoman Marketa Puci said yesterday.
The case concerning contracts with the state-run Czech Post company, will be discussed by the High Court in Prague.
Agrotec is a part of the Agrofert Holding, which was owned by Finance Minister Andrej Babis until last week, when he transferred it to trust funds in reaction to a new conflict of interest law that has taken effect yesterday.
Ten people and four companies faced accusations in connection with the affair concerning the Czech Post.
The Prague High Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges against the suspects at the Municipal Court last June.
The file will be submitted to the High Court now that the state attorney has challenged the decision to halt the prosecution of Agrotec because its criminal liability ceased to exist.
The case is comprised of two parts, concerning the Czech Post’s contract for construction works and a planned purchase of tyres and spare parts for postal vehicles, respectively. Four people have been charged in the former case, and two people and the supplier company, Agrotec, in the latter.
They are suspected of agreeing on an advantage in public procurement, an offence carrying up to eight years in prison.
Besides, the charges include bribery and a violation of economic competition rules.
The police raided the Prague premises of the Czech Post in April 2014, and the seat of Agrotec one day later.

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