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January 20, 2018 9:30 am | FILED UNDER: politics

Babis’s Prosecution to Resume After Parliament Strips Immunity

By ČTK Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis

Prague, (CTK) – State attorneys will resume prosecution of PM Andrej Babis (ANO) and ANO deputy head Jaroslav Faltynek over the Capi hnizdo case only after the Czech police receive the parliament’s report on the vote that stripped both men of their MP’s immunity today, Stepanka Zenklova has told CTK.

 

Zenklova is the spokeswoman for the Prague Municipal State Attorney’s Office.

 

The police, on their part, have rejected Babis’s assertion that criminal prosecution can be launched on somebody’s order in the Czech Republic.

 

The police always act according to valid laws and their work has been supervised by state attorneys, Police Presidium spokeswoman Iveta Skupien told CTK.

 

The Chamber of Deputies released Babis and Faltynek for prosecution in the previous election period last September. One month later, accusations were levelled against the two over a suspectedly fraudulent EU subsidy drawn by the Capi hnizdo (Stork Nest) company, formerly a part of the Agrofert holding owned by Babis.

 

The prosecution of Babis and Faltynek was suspended after the October general election, in which ANO scored a sweeping victory and both Babis and Faltynek regained deputies’ mandates along with immunity.

 

After the new Chamber of Deputies bodies were established in the past weeks, its mandate and immunity committee recommended this week, reacting to the police request, that Babis and Faltynek be released for prosecution again.

 

The plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies supported the release in a vote today.

 

The Chamber will now inform the Prague Municipal State Attorney’s Office, which supervises the Capi hnizdo case investigation, about its decision.

 

Subsequently, the police will send their decision on the resumption of the prosecution to Babis and Faltynek, Zenklova said.

 

Last year, one month passed between the Chamber’s decision to release the two MPs and their accusation by the police.

 

Babis and Faltynek deny any wrongdoing.

 

Apart from them, another nine people face accusations over Capi hnizdo, including Babis’s wife and two adult children from his first marriage.

 

“We live in a country where you can order [someone’s] prosecution or have someone released from prison,” Babis said in the debate in parliament today.

 

Skupien, from the Police Presidium, told CTK that the police usually do not comment on political statements, but in this case it is their duty to react, since “such a statement threatens people’s confidence in the work and independence of the Czech police and other law enforcement bodies.”

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