Prague, May 15 (CTK) – The relevant bodies assured politicians at the Czech National Security Council’s (BRS) meeting on Monday that investigations into the recordings in which Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) speaks with a journalist are underway, Environment Minister Richard Brabec (ANO) said after the meeting.
Babis, for his part, again dismissed having received a police file on an open criminal case from the journalist, which the recordings seem to indicate.
“We have been informed on the ongoing proceedings concerning the affair. Everybody could hear at the meeting that the proceedings continue as is appropriate in a law abiding state and that the police are dealing with the affair,” Brabec said.
Babis dismissed having had access to information from a police enquiry, and he repeatedly declared that he never acquainted himself with any open police file, Brabec said.
The BRS meeting was initiated by the junior government Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), who cited not only the content of the recordings but also the threat they may pose in a situation where they target Babis, a deputy prime minister and BRS deputy chairman.
KDU-CSL deputy chairman and Agriculture Minister Marian Jurecka said the affair raised various questions in recent days, which the BRS meeting answered only on a general level.
“We were told that the affair has been investigated,” he said, adding that the KDU-CSL will be satisfied only after the truth is revealed.
Before the BRS meeting, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) said he would seek an assurance that the controversial recordings are being investigated.
“The BRS has neither an ambition nor the right to be acquainted with the course of the investigation,” Brabec said.
The BRS met to discuss the circumstances of the leak of recordings showing Babis in conversation with Marek Pribil, a journalist from Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD), a daily that Babis owned previously.
The recordings appeared on an anonymous Twitter account a few weeks ago. They show Babis using dirty names, also in connection with fellow ministers, and discussing open police files and the publishing of discrediting materials with Pribil.
The BRS, comprised of selected ministers, is a governmental group charged with ensuring the security of the country.
On May 5, Sobotka proposed to President Milos Zeman that Babis be dismissed over suspected tax evasion and influencing the media. Zeman has not complied with the request for the time being. He will deal with it next week only, his office announced earlier on Monday.