Prague, May 10 (CTK) – Marek Pribil, a former reporter of Czech daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD), says on his Facebook profile that he has never handed any file on an open case to Finance Minister and ANO chairman Andrej Babis and that he does not have any either.

This is disinformation caused by editing the audio recordings of his meetings with Babis and citing them out of context, Pribil writes.

Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) along with other media outlets was owned by billionaire businessman Babis’s concern, which he transferred to trustee funds in February to comply with an amended conflict of interest law.

“At the same time, I reiterate that I have never worked for the Social Democrats (CSSD) and recorded Babis. My employer was Mafra a.s. publishers. Moreover, these recordings are decimating to a high extent in my case. Consequently, I am convinced that they were aimed not only against Babis but also against me,” Pribil said.

As a MfD reporter, he primarily dealt with the CSSD, in particular with Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (CSSD) and his sector, Pribil added.

Babis also dismissed having received a police file on an open criminal case from Pribil that the audio recording posted on the Internet on Monday indicated.

According to the recording, the journalist gave him documents on the police investigation into the Beretta case concerned with leaking information from a crime file.

Babis also categorically dismissed accusations of having committed a crime at a press conference on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) said on Monday, commenting on the recording, that it is a duty of any citizen to turn to the police if they were given a police file on an open criminal case.

The audio recording was released on the Julius Suman Twitter account where another two recordings appeared last week.

The account’s name refers to former communist secret police (StB) officer Julius Suman who allegedly won Babis over for cooperation under the previous regime, which both deny.

In the first recorded conversation, Babis spoke in an insulting way about government members, including Sobotka, while in the second, he spoke about the release of compromising materials.

Sobotka, who seeks Babis’s dismissal from the coalition government due to his dubious business transactions, mentioned the recordings among the reasons for Babis’s departure.

After the release of the first two recordings, Pribil confirmed on Facebook that he had met Babis.

“I met Babis, whom I considered my boss, three times. I never recorded anything, let alone worked for Chovanec who is my arch enemy, also within court disputes. I will no longer speak about the affair,” Pribil said last week.

hol/dr/ms