Prague, Aug 11 (CTK) – Czech government ANO movement head Andrej Babis will not give up his deputy’s mandate over a request for his release for prosecution over the Capi hnizdo case the police sent to the Chamber of Deputies on Thursday, he told CTK on Friday, adding that there is no reason for this.
Babis said previously he considers the police request a part of the political struggle that is to harm him before the October 20-21 general election.
ANO is a favourite of the election.
The police also asked the Chamber of Deputies on Thursday for the release of ANO deputy group head Jaroslav Faltynek in the Farma Capi hnizdo (Stork Nest) company case.
He, too, said he will not give up his deputy mandate.
The Chamber of Deputies’ mandate and immunity committee will deal with the request on Friday, August 18, for the first time. It will hear Babis and Faltynek at its following meeting.
The Chamber of Deputies should make the final decision based on voting at its session that will start on September 5.
The server Neovlivní.cz has written that the police investigation is not to involve Babis and Faltynek only.
The server wrote that Jana Mayerova, deputy mayor of Jihlava, south Moravia, and ANO’s candidate in the October general election, is also to be prosecuted.
She signed the application for a subsidy, which is the subject of the investigation, on behalf of the Farma Capi hnizdo company.
CTK has not been able to contact her. Her staff said she is ill and she did not answer the phone.
The police are also interested in two members of the company board, Josef Nenadal and Ludek Kalivoda, who assigned Mayerova to sign the application.
The farm was a part of Babis’s Agrofert holding until the turn of 2007 and 2008. Afterwards, it changed the form of ownership and it was not possible to ascertain its owner. Thanks to the change, the company got a 50 million crown subsidy from the EU. After several years during which it was fulfilling the subsidy condition the firm returned to Agrofert.
Billionaire businessman Babis transferred the Agrofert concern, including some media outlets, to trust funds in February to comply with an amended conflict of interest law.
Server neovlivni.cz has written that there exist proves of Babis having had detailed information of the Capi hnizdo project financing. For instance, he signed an agreement on credit guarantees with which the Farma Capi hnizdo company covered a part of the construction.
In the relevant period, Faltynek was a deputy chairman of the board of the ZZN Pelhrimov holding which controlled Farma Capi hnizdo at a time. The police say he participated in the expedient taking of Farma Capi hnizdo from the holding with the aim of making it eligible for a subsidy, the server wrote.