Czech police again recommend charges against Prime Minister Babis

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Andrej Babis
Andrej Babis

Shortly before parliamentary elections in the Czech Republic, police have again recommended fraud charges against Prime Minister Andrej Babis.

Files related to the investigation, supplemented by several witness statements, are now before the public prosecutor, the judicial authorities confirmed on Tuesday.

He must decide within two months whether to bring charges, close the case or – as he has done several times before – order further investigations. The deadline can be extended.

The so-called Stork’s Nest affair is about the accusation of fraud involving EU subsidies. Babis is accused of having obtained subsidies for the construction of the Stork’s Nest spa resort in the amount of almost 2 million euros (2.35 million dollars) in 2008.

The funds were intended for small and medium-sized enterprises, but Babis was at the head of a corporate conglomerate with almost 200 companies in the agricultural, food and chemical industries. He denies the accusations.

Amid great media interest, Babis’ son, Andrej Babis Junior, had recently testified on the matter to the police. He was originally one of the accused himself.

“I want to emphasize that I never wanted to be part of a subsidy scam,” he told the newspaper MF Dnes afterwards.

Latest polls ahead of the October 8-9 parliamentary elections predict a victory for the head of government’s populist party ANO, which means “Yes” in Czech.

According to the polling agency Ipsos, it would get 27 per cent of the vote, closely followed by the conservative grouping Spolu (Together) with 25 per cent.

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