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Deputy PM: Intelligence should deal with Babiš’s recordings

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Prague, May 16 (CTK) – The Czech counter-intelligence BIS should focus on the recent audio recordings of Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) to check whether they are not an attack against the constitutional system, Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Belobradek (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) said on Tuesday.

“It would be good if not only the police but also the BIS dealt with the situation,” Belobradek said, adding that he would ask Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka to give the task to the secret service.

The recordings of Babis talking to a journalist appeared on an anonymous Twitter account a few weeks ago. They indicated that Babis used the media he owned against his political rivals and that he had access to results of ongoing police investigation. Babis dismissed it.

Belobradek also said the controlling committee of the Chamber of Deputies should deal with the work of the Financial Administration related to the one-crown bonds. He said the Supreme Audit Office (NKU) might deal with the situation as well.

All possible doubts about the impartiality of the Financial Administration must be dispelled, he said.

The Financial Administration trade unions called on the government to stop challenging the administration independence from political pressure.

The purchase of untaxed one-crown bonds is one the key steps of Babis that have triggered the current government crisis. Sobotka demands that the billionaire Babis leave the cabinet due to his suspected tax evasion, nontransparent property situation and misuse of independent media, but President Milos Zeman refused to promptly dismiss Babis and left for a one-week visit to China.

ANO and the CSSD have been government partners but also political rivals. Babis’s movement is the most popular party five months before the general election, well ahead of the Social Democrats. Sobotka recently started openly criticising what he calls a Babis-Zeman alliance.

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