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June 8, 2018 12:00 am | FILED UNDER: europe

Slovak Court Rejects Babis’s StB Petition

By ČTK Andrej Babis

Bratislava, June 8 (CTK) – The Slovak Supreme Court has rejected Czech PM Andrej Babis’s petition for an appellate review in his dispute with the Slovak Nation’s Memory Institute (UPN) about his cooperation with the former Communist secret police (StB), the Dennik N server reported in the night.

 

It refers to court spokeswoman Alexandra Vazanova.

 

ANO movement chairman of Slovak origin Babis claims he was registered as an StB agent unrightfully.

 

The Slovak lower-level court previously ruled in favour of Babis, but the Slovak Constitutional Court (US) cancelled the definitive verdicts of the regional and supreme courts.

 

The US ruled that the UPN should not be the defendant in the disputes over the registration in the StB archives, which was a breakthrough verdict.

 

The Regional Court in Bratislava rejected Babis’s lawsuit challenging as unrightful his registration as an StB agent in February. Babis filed a petition for appellate review of the verdict, which the Supreme Courts turned down.

 

Vazanova said the reasons for rejecting Babis’s petition would be explained in detail in a written ruling.

 

The agner & partners legal office representing Babis in the dispute has refused to comment on the information so far as it does not have the court’s decision available yet.

 

The Slovak courts started dealing with Babis’s alleged collaboration with the StB in January 2012 when Babis filed a legal complaint against the UPN over its archive files on his being an StB agent with a Bratislava court.

 

The US’s decision annulling the previous verdicts meant a twist in the dispute. The US decided so saying the UPN should not be sued in this case.

 

The US also stated that in the Babis case, Slovak courts wrongly based their verdicts on the testimony of former StB officers who had not been relieved of their duty of confidentiality. The US also challenged the trustworthiness of these witnesses who had testified in favour of Babis and their testimonies were crucial in the original proceedings.

 

Babis said this week that he would like to sue Slovakia with the European Human Rights Court over the StB case.

 

In the Czech Republic, some opposition politicians criticise billionaire businessman Babis, a member of the pre-1989 Communist Party (KSC), for his cooperation with the StB. This was also one of the reasons provoking mass demonstrations against Babis that were held in many Czech towns in the past days.

 

Moreover, Babis is criminally prosecuted on suspicion of an EU subsidy fraud.

 

It ensues from the UPN archives that in 1980, Babis became an StB informer and two years later, he was recruited by the StB as an agent with the code name Bures. Babis was allegedly won over by StB lieutenant Julius Suman. However, Suman said at the Bratislava district court that Babis had not been recruited for the StB.

 

Babis has long denied his witting cooperation with the StB. He says he came in contact with StB officers during the Communist regime when he worked for the Petrimex Czechoslovak foreign trade company and that they were only interested in Petrimex’s trade activities.

 

Babis’s ANO, which was part of the previous Czech government in 2014-2017, smoothly won the last October general election. His ANO minority government lost a confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies in January and resigned, but it continues ruling pending the establishment of Babis’s new cabinet. He has agreed on a coalition with the Social Democrats (CSSD) that is to be supported by the Communists (KSCM).

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