Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has filed a motion to suspend his criminal prosecution in the case of a subsidy for the construction of the Stork’s Nest farm. Babiš’ former adviser Jana Mayerová is also accused in the case, and her lawyer also filed a motion to stop the prosecution, according to the iROZHLAS.cz. The police completed the investigation of the case at the end of May this year, proposed to the public prosecutor to file an indictment, the plaintiff is to decide on the proposal by the end of August.
“Yes, we have filed a motion to stop the criminal prosecution,” Michael Bartončík, Babiš’s lawyer , told the website . According to him, the submission is extensive in terms of arguments, there are several reasons for stopping the prosecution. The application was submitted by a lawyer in the second half of July.
Babiš has long claimed that the case is purposeful and artificially constructed. “The Stork’s Nest case is 14 years old. It is a purposeful, political prosecution to order. It is always set in motion before the elections,” he told reporters today at the autograph session of his book in Ústí nad Labem. He did not want to specify the reasons for submitting the proposal. “I don’t know, I gave the power of attorney to the lawyers. The reasons are, of course, that it’s a purposeful political matter. I didn’t do anything. It has nothing to do with my political career,” the prime minister added. Mayer, who now uses her maiden name Nagy, has said in the past that she believes the law has not been broken.
According to the instructions of the Prague High Public Prosecutor’s Office, the supervising public prosecutor Jaroslav Šaroch should decide on the motion to file a charge by 31 August. According to Aktuálně.cz, the plaintiff will assess Babiš’s proposal to stop the prosecution in parallel with the police proposal and will announce the result at once with his final decision. However, the Prague City Public Prosecutor’s Office has previously announced that the deadline may still change, in the event that the accused add new evidence to the criminal file.
Aleš Cimbala, a spokesman for the city public prosecutor’s office, did not comment on the submitted proposals to stop the prosecution. “Even in the final phase of the pre-trial proceedings, it is not possible to publish information concerning the content of individual submissions, descriptions of the act, evidence or information concerning the persons concerned.
The essence of the case is that the Čapí hnízdo farm originally belonged to Babiš’s holding Agrofert, in December 2007 it was transformed into a joint-stock company with shares into owners and later received a 50 million European subsidy in the program for small and medium-sized enterprises. The shares were owned by Babiš’s children and partner. The farm as part of Agrofert would not be entitled to the subsidy. After a few years, the company returned to Agrofert. Babiš owned the holding until February 2017, then invested it in his trust funds.
Originally, the police accused more people in the case, including members of Babiš’s family and the then ANO vice-chairman Jaroslav Faltýnek. The prosecution of Faltýnka and three other people was canceled by Šaroch in May 2018. The year before, he stopped the prosecution of all the remaining accused, including Babiš, although the police, as now, were proposing the indictment. Even then, after a police motion to indict, Babiš and Mayerová filed a request to stop their prosecution.
Former Attorney General Pavel Zeman resumed the prosecution of Babiš and Mayerová in December 2019 after a review, according to which the proceedings in their case were stopped illegally and prematurely. At the same time, he confirmed that the persecution of Babiš’s loved ones was definitely over. Zeman announced his resignation in mid-May, his term expired on June 30. At the end of May