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Committee to start debating Babiš’s release on Nov 28

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Prague, Nov 24 (CTK) – The Czech Chamber of Deputies’ mandate and immunity committee will start discussing the police request for the release of ANO head Andrej Babis and his deputy Jaroslav Faltynek for criminal prosecution next Tuesday, the committee chairman Stanislav Grospic told journalists on Friday.

Babis is suspected of a subsidy fraud and of harming the EU’s financial interests and Faltynek of a subsidy fraud.

Grospic (Communists, KSCM), who was elected the committee chairman on Wednesday, said that committee members would recommend whether deputies should release Babis and Faltynek for prosecution at the police request which was handed to them by the new Chamber of Deputies’ chairman Radek Vondracek (ANO) on Thursday.

Grospic said Babis and Faltynek must be given a chance of expressing their standpoint.

“We may expect different proposals for action or a request for further materials [from the committee members],” Grospic said.

The Pirates deputy group’s chairman Jakub Michalek said he would propose that the committee ask the police to make the relevant file available to it.

The new request for release of Babis and Faltynek over the suspected fraudulent drawing of an EU subsidy by Babis’s Stork Nest (Capi hnizdo) firm was delivered to the Chamber on Tuesday, still before the mandate and immunity committee was constituted and its chairman elected and before the Chamber elected Vondracek its chairman.

Babis said he expected the police to take the step and criticised their swiftness, saying it showed the case was a political one.

The previous Chamber of Deputies released both MPs to the police in September, but after their re-election in October, their prosecution had to be interrupted.

The new Chamber is to vote on their release now. Should it fail to release them, the police could only continue with the prosecution after the two MPs’ deputy mandates end.

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