agrofert andrej babis

Petr Dubinsky

Babis Controls Agrofert: Supreme State Attorney

The supreme state attorney says Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has a conflict of interest and continues to control Agrofert. The Supreme Prosecutors Office called the regional offices earlier ruling that the prime minister is not in conflict of interest incorrect, Neovlivní.cz reports.

“After studying all the relevant documents, it can be concluded that the accused from the position of the founder and the intended trust fund and based on the rules of operation of the trust fund in its Statute has the means to effectively and indirectly (through the trust administrator and the Board of Protectors) in business corporations (…) The decision of the administrative body is incorrect, “states in a document dated July 17, which was signed by Zeman’s subordinate, public prosecutor Zdeněk Snášel.

Zeman justified his decision not to file a lawsuit last month by stating that he did not find a serious public interest in this procedure. The mere fact that he is a significant official in the present case does not, in his view, create a serious public interest in the judicial review of an administrative decision. He added that the prosecutor’s office must not be influenced by public expectations or demand. 

“I must proceed from the wording of the law, which tells me that I can file an administrative lawsuit if there is serious public interest. In this regard, I believe that if I did not file an administrative lawsuit in a similar case of any other citizen of the Czech Republic, even in the case of the Prime Minister, as this would give him a disadvantage before the law, “he explained.

Zeman reminded that according to the same principle of equality of the citizen before the law, he proceeded in the prime minister’s criminal case of the Stork’s Nest, where he ruled against the prime minister when he annulled the decision to stop his prosecution. “If I had not annulled the decision of the public prosecutor of the Municipal Public Prosecutor’s Office in Prague, I would have given him (Babiš) an advantage over the law,” he said.

The administrative proceedings concerned Babiš’s alleged misdemeanor against the Conflict of Interest Act. The prime minister faced suspicions that he still controlled the media belonging to the Agrofert holding. However, last year the regional authority concluded that the offense did not happen, and the proceedings were finally stopped. The Attorney General could still reverse his decision.

The complete opinion of the prosecutor, published today on Twitter by Senator Lukáš Wagenknecht, states that it is impossible to agree with the legal assessment of the case by the Regional Office of the Central Bohemian Region. “Based on the long-term possibility of exercising a decisive influence in the business corporations in question, it cannot be ruled out that Ing. AB fulfilled the objective aspect of the offense,” the council stated.

NSZ spokesman Petr Malý added that Zeman also assessed the procedure of administrative authorities during the review. “He came to the interim conclusion that the decision of the Central Bohemian Regional Authority is incorrect. However, the final decision would have to be issued by the court.

Babis denies he has a conflict of interest because he placed his Agrofert Holdings in a trust fund. 

The non-profit organization’s Transparency International CR and Wagenknecht filed motions to file an administrative lawsuit.