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Slovak court to decide on Babiš suspected StB tie on Sept 12

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Bratislava, Sept 14 (CTK) – The Slovak Constitutional Court (US) will decide on a complaint the Nation’s Memory Institute (UPN) filed against a court verdict saying that the Czech government ANO leader Andrej Babis was not the former communist secret police’s (StB) agent on October 12, it announced on Thursday.

The UPN complained about a lower-level court verdict saying that Babis, a Slovak-born billionaire, figures in the StB files unrightfully.

The US plans to release its final decision in mid-October, a week before the October 20-21 general election in the Czech Republic, in which Babis’s ANO movement is a hot favourite.

Babis denies having ever knowingly cooperated with the StB.

The UPN, whose tasks include the management of the StB archives, filed the constitutional complaint after the January decision by the Slovak Supreme Court (NS), which rejected a petition for an appellate review by which the UPN tried to challenge the result of the preceding court dispute.

Before, lower level courts gave verdicts in favour of Babis.

Turning to the NS, the UPN objected that these verdicts were unlawful because former StB officers, who testified in favour of Babis, were not relieved of their obligation of secrecy before giving their testimony.

UPN lawyer Pavol Polacek repeated this objection at the US session on Thursday.

Representatives of the NS and the Bratislava Regional Court, whose verdicts the UPN challenged, excused themselves from the court proceedings on Thursday. They defended their steps and verdicts in the Babis affair in a letter addressed to the panel of judges.

Archive documents say that Babis became an informer of the StB in 1980 and gained the status of an agent two years later.

Former StB officer Julius Suman, who won Babis over for cooperation, according to the archive files, said in his court testimony that the information is untrue and that Babis was never recruited by the StB as its agent.

Babis has repeatedly denied having been an StB agent. He previously said that as a pre-1989 employee of Petrimex, a Czechoslovak foreign trade company, he was in contact with StB officers who reportedly showed interest in the company’s business activities only.

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