Babis Blames Stork Nest Troubles on Former Deputy FinMin Lukas Wagenknecht

Prague, (CTK) – Economist Lukas Wagenknecht, who was deputy finance minister in 2014-15 when the ministry was headed by the current PM Andrej Babis (ANO), dismissed Babis’s claim that he denigrated the Capi hnizdo project and that Babis’s political rival demanded it, he told Czech Radio today.


The lower house of Czech parliament today released Babis for prosecution over a suspected EU subsidy fraud linked to the Capi hnizdo (Stork Nest) project, meeting a police request.


Babis told the parliamentary session today that Wagenknecht initiated the check by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), which concluded that the subsidy application included untrue data and called for the deletion of Capi hnizdo from projects subsidised by the EU.


Babis said the OLAF seemed to be influenced by an audit worked out by the Good Governance company founded by Wagenknecht on order of the Reporter magazine.


Wagenknecht told Czech Radio he was considering suing Babis for slander.


He said he heard the news that the OLAF used some analysis made by his Good Governance for the first time now.


Wagenknecht said Good Governance worked out two analyses related to Babis. The first one concerned the failure of an auditing body supervised by then finance minister Babis and the second one dealt with the Capi hnizdo case. He said he did not take part in working out the latter analysis.


He dismissed Babis’s view that Good Governance would create analyses according to political demands in order to defame the Capi hnizdo project.


Before the lower house vote on his release today, Babis also told the session that criminal prosecution can be launched on a political order in the Czech Republic. He claimed that his political opponents were behind the Capi hnizdo case and that they want to oust him from top politics.