Sunday 6/20/21
ANDREJ BABIS

Czech police recommend charging prime minister in fraud case

Babis was investigated by police for allegations that he stole almost 2 million euros worth of EU subsidies.
26 May 2021, Czech Republic, Prague: Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis speaks during a press conference on the reappointment of Adam Vojtech as Health Minister. Photo: Deml Ondøej/CTK/dpa
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis speaks during a press conference. Photo: Deml Ondøej/dpa/file photo.

Czech police on Monday recommended that Prime Minister Andrej Babis be indicted following a long-running investigation into an allegation of fraud involving European Union subsidies.

The police investigative authority in Prague said the ball was now in the court of the public prosecutor's office as to whether to proceed with an indictment.

Babis was investigated by police for allegations that he stole almost 2 million euros (2.4 million dollars) worth of EU subsidies to construct the Stork's Nest wellness resort, located some 50 kilometres south of Prague.

At the time, Babis was at the head of a large business empire, Agrofert, that spanned areas such as agriculture, food, chemicals and media.

The EU subsidies Babis, 66, is accused of using were intended for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Money repaid

Babis, who Forbes magazine lists as having a net worth of 3.7 billion dollars, denies any wrongdoing and the money has since been repaid to the state.

A new parliament is to be elected in the Czech Republic in October.

According to a recent poll commissioned by broadcaster CT, Babis' populist ANO party would only come in third place with around 19% of the vote, placing it behind an alliance of the Pirate and Mayors parties and the conservative grouping Spolu (Together).

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