Slovakia’s Constitutional Court has ruled there is sufficent evidence that Babiš was an agent of the StB, the communist secret police. The Slovak keeper of communist police archives has uncovered at least 12 documents outlining Babiš recruitment, under the code name Bureš, as well as extensive records of spying activities.
Thursday’s ruling means any new court action (which Babiš has pledged to launch) will play out differently. The Constitutional Court ruled that the former StB police officers whose previous statements helped clear Babiš’ name should not be accepted as evidence. The former officers were previously compromised by their own actions and can’t be relied on as objective witnesses.
The Constitutional Court added the original case should not have been brought against the National Memory Institute, since it is only a keeper of archives and not responsible for their content or interpretation.
The ANO leader reacted quickly to the ruling, saying that he regretted that the court cases would re-start. And he suggested that the timing of the ruling, just over one week ahead of Czech elections to the lower house of parliament, was not by chance, adding that his Czech political rivals were taking advantage of their Slovak connections.
Even if the ANO leader were found to have been a former communist secret police agent it would not disqualify him from being prime minister or a member of the government under the current Czech rules.
Nonetheless, there were a chorus of reactions from other Czech political leaders that with such a shadow about his past, Babiš is not fit to be prime minister or a government member. Babiš also faces criminal charges for fraud in connection with European funds. Political analysts forecast this pre-election scandal will not affect the ANO’s lead in the polls.