More than 600 e-mail boxes of the government ANO party, including its management, are operated by the Agrofert holding, according to the iROZHLAS.cz. According to their findings, the movement’s email runs on the same network as dozens of other e-mail servers of companies from the holding, such as Precheza, Penama, Deza and Fatra. In 2017, the chairman of the movement and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš invested the holding in his trust funds and claims that he no longer has anything to do with the company. ANO spokesman Martin Vodička said that the movement pays for the service of Agrofert.
According to the findings of the iROZHLAS.cz server, both the chairman of the movement, Andrej Babiš, and hundreds of other people associated with ANO use the e-mail box operated by Agrofert. “At the moment, we have set up 605 e-mail boxes, which are used by the presidency, committee, regional chairmen and managers, employees and some other collaborators,” spokesman for the ANO Martin Vodička specified for Radiožurnál.
According to Vodička, the movement orders the service from Agrofert on the basis of an IT support contract and pays for it monthly. “So this is a standard business relationship and we had no reason to change the service provider, which has been working properly for a long time,” said the spokesman.
When asking Radiožurnál why the Prime Ministers’ company runs ANO e-mails, Prime Minister Babiš stated that he has been using the e-mail box movement since its inception. He reiterated that he had nothing to do with Agrofert. “I don’t have it, it’s an external company, an external supplier,” Babiš said.
According to Petr Leyer, director of the anti-corruption organization Transparency International, the operation of ANO e-mail boxes by Agrofert is further proof that the prime minister did not disengage from his company. “In my opinion, this shows the connection between the business and political spheres, which then converges on one specific person, ie Andrej Babiš,” Leyer told Radiožurnál.
Lawyer Lukáš Kraus from the non-profit organization Reconstruction of the State is also convinced that there is still a connection between the Prime Minister and Agrofert. “I consider it problematic that a company that can compete for contracts and subsidies is the operator of e-mails for politicians who have an influence on it,” the iROZHLAS.cz website quoted him as saying.
Holding Agrofert operates mainly in agriculture and food. In 2017, Babiš Holding invested in its trust funds to comply with the requirements of the Conflict of Interest Act. According to the auditors of the European Commission, the Prime Minister is still in a conflict of interest because he controls the trust funds. Grandma repeatedly refuses.
The Czech authorities are also dealing with the Prime Minister’s conflict of interest. The Černošice office is conducting misdemeanor proceedings with Babiš due to the ownership of media companies. The initiative was submitted by Transparency International.