Prague, Aug 28 (CTK) – The Czech Financial Administration (FS) works based on its on analytical activities, not on orders from anybody else, and provides no information on its cases to other people, not even to the finance minister, it told CTK today in relation to the case of the FAU fuel-trading firm.
The FS is ready to defend the steps it took in the FAU case and it has already submitted its evidence and arguments to the Supreme Administrative Court, FS spokeswoman Gabriela Stepanyova said.
She said the FS would have to be released from the pledge of secrecy to be able to comment on the case.
In an audio recording posted on the Internet on Sunday, former finance minister Andrej Babis (ANO) talks of FAU that ended up bankrupt after the FS’s intervention. He said “our people cracked down on FAU, which is therefore insolvent now.” He also showed dissatisfaction that FAU owned a spur track on the premises of his chemical company Precheza.
Babis is the sole owner of the giant Agrofert holding, which includes many chemical and other firms. Earlier this year, he was forced to transfer the holding to trust funds and later he had to leave the government over his dubious business deals. Babis is the leader of ANO, which is the favourite of the October general election.
Last weekend, daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) wrote that FAU has gone bankrupt because of the FS’s purposeful intervention against it.
FAU was declared bankrupt last autumn when Babis was minister.
Jiri Zezulka, who headed the FS from May to October 2014, told CTK that the case might relate to FAU’s activities before Babis was appointed minister in January 2014.
Zezulka said the FS monitored FAU’s fuel trades from about 2011.
If the recording of Babis dated before FAU’s insolvency was declared, somebody from the FS probably violated the pledge of secrecy, Zezulka said. Not even the finance minister should have access to live cases, he added.
Babis said in the recording that FAU was a criminal gang as it was bought by controversial businessman Tomas Pitr and that it owed some 200 million crowns to the state.