European Anti Fraud Office (OLAF) Wraps Up Babis InvestigationČTK
Prague, Dec 20 (CTK) – The European Anti Fraud Office (OLAF) has ended its investigation into the EU subsidies for the Stork Nest (Capi hnizdo) company, a part of Agrofert Holding formerly owned by Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, OLAF spokeswoman Silvana Enculescu today.
The results were passed to the relevant bodies in the Czech Republic and the European Commission.
Czech police, too, are investigating the case.
Enculescu said OLAF finished the investigation into possible inconsistencies in the project of Farma Capi hnizdo, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, in December 2017.
OLAF has concluded the case by recommendations for the EC and relevant court bodies in the Czech Republic, Enculescu said. OLAF will not comment on the case anymore because the following steps are to be taken by Czech bodies, she said.
Babis told journalists he did not want to comment on the issue. “I don’t deal with the Stork Nest. We had negotiations and so I have not read the media yet,” he said.
In the previous term of the Chamber of Deputies, ANO movement leader Babis and ANO deputy head Jaroslav Faltynek were released for prosecution.
However, since they were re-elected to the lower house, they regained parliamentary immunity and the Chamber of Deputies must decide again on their release for prosecution at the police request.
Another nine people are charged in the Capi hnizdo case, including Babis’s wife Monika.
Until 2007, the Farma Capi hnizdo company belonged to Babis’s Agrofert Holding concern. Afterwards, its stake was transferred to bearer shares for a small firm to reach a 50-million-crown EU subsidy, which a firm of the huge Agrofert Holding could never get. It observed this condition for a few years, but later it again returned to Babis’s concern.
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.
Babis and Faltynek deny any wrongdoing and say their prosecution is politically motivated.
Some parties have denied support for a government headed by Babis arguing that a prosecuted man cannot be the prime minister.
Finance Ministry spokesman Michal Zurovec told CTK that the ministry had not yet received any decision, adding that it would not comment on the investigation.