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Czech parliament may only look into file on Babiš’ case

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Prague, Aug 23 (CTK) – Members of the Czech Chamber of Deputies mandate and immunity committee who are to say whether the lower house should release for prosecution government ANO leader Andrej Babis and ANO deputy head Jaroslav Faltynek will only be able to look into their file, the committee chairwoman, Miroslava Nemcova, said on Wednesday.

The regional police command in Prague has rejected the request for a copy of the file lodged by the committee, Nemcova (Civic Democratic Party, ODS) said.

“However, the members of the mandate and immunity committee may look into the file at the Prague regional police command,” Nemcova said.

The deputies asked by CTK for reaction said they understood the police decision, interpreting it as a prevention of information leak.

The Chamber of Deputies rapporteur on the request Jiri Dolejs (Communists, KSCM) told CTK he would go to the police station as this was his duty within his post.

“The police do not want to deliver the file to the Chamber of Deputies for security reasons, which is understandable,” Dolejs said.

TOP 09 deputy Martin Plisek said he considered the police request sufficient for him to decide.

“Since it is drafted in great detail, I do not need to be acquainted with the file,” Plisek said.

“As the chairman of the commission dealing with leaks from files I want to hope that just the information from this one will not get to the public,” he added.

“I do not need to see the file. I believe that we do not need to see the whole file for our decision. This is why I did not demand this and I will not go and look at it,” Roman Sklenak, head of the Social Democrat deputies, said.

The police delivered the request to have the two politicians released for prosecution on August 10. The committee is discussing it and it has asked for the whole file on the Capi hnizdo firm and information on the supervision of the case.

It has invited Babis and Faltynek for its further meeting to be held next Wednesay.

Babis has asked the committee to provide him with the police documents with the request for his release for prosecution.

He told CTK on Wednesday he would go to the meeting if invited and if he is given a chance to read it along with his lawyer.

He denies any wrongdoing, calling the affair a plot against him.

The committee gives recommendations to the Chamber of Deputies on whether to release the deputies. The Chamber of Deputies is to debate the affair on its session to start on September 5.

Babis and Faltynek, his aide, have been facing a criminal complaint over the Capi hnizdo (Stork Nest) farm and congress complex since the late 2015.

At the end of 2007 and beginning of 2008, the Capi hnizdo firm was a part of Agrofert, Babis’s giant chemical, agricultural and food processing complex. Afterwards, its owner changed through a chain of transactions that made the new owner hard to identify. Then it gained a 50-million-crown subsidy designed for small firms, which it could never gain as part of Agrofert. After few years, it rejoined Agrofert.

Babis is no longer the Agrofert direct owner.

Babis was Czech finance minister and deputy prime minister from January 2014 to May 2017. His ANO is likely to win the October general election.

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