In Brief: Chief Prosecutor Reopens Stork’s Nest Case Against Prime Minister Andrej Babiš
Criminal proceedings against Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) related to the “Stork’s Nest” [Čapí Hnízdo] case have been reopened today, according to the main Czech news outlets. The Chief Public Prosecutor Pavel Zeman announced the next steps in the investigation of the alleged subsidy fraud at the Stork’s Nest Farm at an extraordinary press conference earlier today. Photo: Vlada.cz – 29/11/2019.
Czech Rep., Dec 4 (BD) – The former Deputy Mayor of Jihlava Jana Mayerová has been accused in the case alongside Babiš. On the other hand, Babis’ wife Monika and the rest of his family have been left out of the case.
Earlier this week, the latest audit report from the European Commission was delivered to the Czech Ministry of Regional Development, which is thought to confirm that the Czech Prime Minister is still suspected of conflict of interest. A letter from the European Commission delivered along with the report calls on the Czech Republic to take a position on the matter, said Minister of Regional Development Klára Dostálová on Tuesday. She added that Prague will use the two-month deadline to consider its response and issue an official statement.
The prosecution of Babiš and others in the case was stopped by the Prague City Prosecutor’s Office in mid-September. The head of the office, Martin Erazím, said at the time that the Stork’s Nest Farm fulfilled the conditions for the definition of a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME). The 50 million European subsidy received by the farm in the summer of 2008 was intended for SMEs.
The Chief Prosecutor added that the partial overturning of the decision does not necessarily mean that Babiš or Mayerová will be indicted, but said that in his view the file from the Prague Public Prosecutor’s Office contains many mistakes.
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