PM Babis Blames ‘Mafia’ for Ordering His Prosecution Over EU Subsidy FraudČTK
Prague, (CTK) – Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) said he would vote for his release for criminal prosecution in the Capi hnizdo case of a suspected EU subsidy fraud in the Chamber of Deputies today, but he stressed this was a mendacious political case ordered by “mafia.”
“We are living in a country where you can order prosecution and probably get someone to prison,” he said at the plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies that is to vote on the police request for the release of him and ANO first deputy head Jaroslav Faltynek in the Capi hnizdo case of an EU subsidy fraud.
Faltynek called his prosecution in the Capi hnizdo case absolutely unsubstantiated and complete nonsense. Despite that he will vote for his release for prosecution, he added.
Babis estimated that his ANO had lost some 10 percent of the vote in the last October general election. Now the case is to affect the formation of a new government, he said.
ANO won the election with almost 30 percent of the vote, much ahead of the other parties. However, Babis’s ANO minority government lost a confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies and decided to tender a resignation this week. Babis launched the first talks with other parties on his next cabinet.
“This is an order by the mafia that was stealing billions here,” Babis said on the police request for his release for prosecution.
Neither corruption nor a fraud accompanied the 50-million-crown EU subsidy for the Capi hnizdo farm, Babis said about the resort owned by his Agrofert concern in the past.
Another nine people are accused in the Capi hnizdo case, including Babis’s wife and his two adult offspring from the first marriage.
Babis said he was sure that none of the accused had committed a crime. The police have not collected evidence in their favour and have no evidence against them either, he said.
He called the prosecution of his wife “an absolutely absurd mean-spiritedness.”
Babis also challenged the report of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) on the Capi hnizdo case. It became part of the police investigation files.
“The aim of my speech is not to change your opinions. I know it very well that we will vote politically,” Babis told deputies.
If they took all arguments into consideration and used common sense, they would certainly not vote for his release, he said.
All parties in parliament, except for his ANO, previously said they would support the ANO leaders’ release for prosecution.