Capi Hnizdo

Matt Atlas

Prosecutor Extends Andrej Babis Fraud Probe

The public prosecutor has extended the deadline for investigating a fraud probe into Prime Minister Andrej Babis over the alleged misuse of a 50 million subsidy for the construction of the Stork’s Nest farm.

“I can confirm that the criminal investigators asked for an extension of the deadline. The deadline was extended based on the decision of the public prosecutor. The Municipal Public Prosecutor’s Office reserved the right to provide information in the matter,” Kropáčová said. The deadline was last set in mid-December, and the police have extended it several times.

According to an earlier statement by the City Public Prosecutor’s Office, the investigation’s deadline is being extended by the police in connection with the current state of affairs. The extension will then be submitted to the supervisory public prosecutor. He shall check the matter and, in a justified case, accept the time limit or impose another one.

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 European subsidy in the program for small and medium-sized enterprises. She would not be entitled to it as part of Agrofert. After a few years, the company returned to Agrofert. Babiš owned the holding until February 2017, then invested it in trust funds.

The prime minister has long denied that anything illegal was happening around the farm. Mayer has said in the past that she believes the law has not been broken.

Police initially accused more people, including Babiš’s family and then ANO vice-chairman Jaroslav Faltýnek. The prosecution of Faltýnka and three other people were canceled by the supervising public prosecutor Jaroslav Šaroch in May 2018. The year before, he stopped the prosecution of all the remaining accused, including Babiš, even though the police proposed to file a charge. On December 4, 2019, after the review, Attorney General Pavel Zeman resumed the prosecution of Babiš and Mayerová. According to him, the proceedings in their case were stopped illegally and prematurely. At the same time, he confirmed that the prosecution of Babiš’s loved ones was over.