Prague, Aug 28 (CTK) – A Czech state body seems to have been abused for the elimination of a business rival in case of the declared insolvency of the FAU fuel-trading firm, Social Democrat (CSSD) election leader Lubomir Zaoralek said today, referring to ANO head Andrej Babis’s possible role in the case.
Zaoralek said the suspicion that former finance minister Babis may have influenced the actions of the Financial Administration (FS) is strong.
The police and state attorneys should check the case, he said. Such mafia-like practices are unprecedented in the country if the suspicion is proved, he added.
Czech media challenged the FS intervention against FAU, which went bankrupt due to the step. In a recording appearing on an anonymous Twitter on Sunday, Babis said “our people” took action against FAU and made it insolvent.
Babis headed the Finance Ministry, which supervises the FS, until May. He had to leave the government due to his dubious financial transactions.
Babis is a billionaire who owns the giant Agrofert holding and FAU had a storeroom on the premises of one of his firms, of which he seemed to disapprove. His party is the favourite of the October general election and he has the ambition to be next prime minister.
Justice Minister Robert Pelikan (ANO) recently said a police request to release MP Babis for criminal prosecution in an unrelated case is an effort to harm the ANO movement in the elections.
Zaoralek said he believed the police and judiciary would not get scared by such pressure from politicians.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) said he would call on Finance Minister Ivan Pilny (ANO) to check the FS intervention.
Zaoralek said he read about the dubious practices Babis had used when he siphoned off assets from firms and wanted to take these firms over, but if the latest suspicion turned out true, it would be something much worse.
Babis told iHNED.cz news server that he did not give any orders to the financial or customs administrations. He did not want to comment on the released audio recording.
Earlier this year, several other recordings appeared. One indicated that Babis used the independent media he owned against his political rivals.