News World Czech police say PM Babis should stand trial in fraud case

Czech police say PM Babis should stand trial in fraud case

Czech police said on Wednesday that Prime Minister Andrej Babis and others should stand trial for alleged fraud involving the handling of a 2 million euro European Union subsidy – charges that could see him jailed for up to 10 years.

Babis, a billionaire media and chemicals entrepreneur, has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and told the state CTK news agency on Wednesday that the case was part of a political plot against him. “It has been politicised,” he said.

His junior coalition partners – the centre-left Social Democrats who have threatened to pull out of the government in the past over the accusations – said that they would wait for the state attorney’s decision.

“The investigation by the police has been concluded and … there is a recommendation to indict all those charged by the police,” the spokesman for the Prague district state attorney’s office said. Babis was among those charged, the spokesman added.

In the Czech legal system, police bring initial charges. They then investigate and present findings to a state attorney who decides whether to go to court, ask police to investigate further, or halt the proceedings.

Thousands of opposition supporters and other activists have taken to the streets protesting against Babis since the charges emerged in 2017.

But the case has not dented Babis’ overall popularity ahead of the European Parliament elections in May. His centrist ANO party, a member of that parliament’s ALDE faction, leads in polls with a double-digit margin.

Elections for the Czech parliament are not due until 2021.

Police have said they are looking into accusations that Babis hid his ownership of a farm and conference centre, called Capi hnizdo (Stork Nest), so that it could qualify for an EU subsidy meant for small businesses.

Babis has said it was owned by his family members when the subsidy was awarded and only later folded into his Agrofert group of companies.

The European Union has said its OLAF anti-fraud unit has also been looking into the case.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

254 new cases through PCR tests, one death announced on Wednesday

The Health Ministry announced the death of a man aged 82, with underlying conditions who had been treated at the Limassol General Hospital ICU...

Lights and benches at Famagusta (PHOTOS)

According to the website Kipris Postasi, lights and benches are being placed in the fenced-off town of Famagusta. According to the report, the lights are...

Health Ministry to buy additional 400,000 rapid antigen tests

The Council of Ministers has approved a proposal by the Minister of Health Constantinos Ioannou for the purchase of an additional amount of 400,000...

Covid-19 new measures to be announced after Friday’s meeting

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades will chair a new meeting with the scientific advisory team on Covid-19 next Friday, November 27, at the Presidential Palace...

Medical students volunteer to supervise implementation of measures

The Health Ministry will proceed with carrying out rapid tests to the employees (weekly) and the residents (monthly) of old people’s homes, rehabilitation centers...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...