Lawyers to Decide if Babis EU Subsidy Fraud Report will be Released

Prague, Dec 28 (CTK) – The Czech Finance Ministry will have a legal analyses made on whether it can publish the report of the European Anti Fraud Office (OLAF) on a suspected EU subsidy fraud in the Capi hnizdo case in which Prime Minister Andrej Babis is entangled, Finance Minister Alena Schillerova (ANO) said today.


The Finance Ministry has also asked OLAF to publish the report, Schillerova said.


She said she would like to provide the information that may be released in a few days’ time.


The Finance Ministry received the report on Wednesday.


It passed the OLAF report to the institutions to which the case may relate: the Regional Development Ministry, to which the Regional Operational Programme for cohesion in Central Bohemia (ROP SC) reports, and to the Supreme State Attorney’s Office.


The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech parliament, released Babis (ANO) and ANO deputy head Jaroslav Faltynek for prosecution in September as they may be implicated in the case.


However, their prosecution was interrupted as both were re-elected to the Chamber of Deputies and regained lawmakers’ immunity in October. The police asked for their release for prosecution again, but the lower house has not decided on it yet.


Eleven people, including Babis and Faltynek, are facing charges in the case.


“The Finance Ministry cannot publish the report before it has an analysis from lawyers and information from OLAF. It may also turn to the state attorney supervising the case,” Schillerova said.


She said she had not read the report from OLAF


Deputies of some parties have asked the Finance Ministry to publish the report.


They argue that the information is vital to review the police request to extradite Babis and Faltynek for prosecution.


Last week, the European Commission recommended to the Czech Republic that it exempt the Capi hnizdo farm from the projects sponsored by European funds.


Schillerova said today Czech authorities had two months to review the demand.


Babis and Faltynek deny any wrongdoing and say their prosecution is politically motivated.


Some parties have denied support for a government headed by Babis arguing that a prosecuted man cannot be the prime minister.


In June 2010, the farm was opened, but Babis denied its ownership. He said in 2013 that he did not know to whom Capi hnizdo belonged.


In 2016, he told a session of the Chamber of Deputies that at the time of the acquisition of the subsidy, the farm was owned by two of his children and brother of his partner, now wife.