Andrej Babiš in 2015 via Wikimedia / Jiří Vítek

Czech State Attorney will not ask for PM Andrej Babiš’ release from prosecution again

State attorney Jaroslav Saroch will not ask the Czech Chamber of Deputies to release Prime Minister Babiš again for prosecution over the Čapí Hnízdo suspected EU subsidy fraud

Prague, Jan 3 (CTK) – State attorney Jaroslav Saroch will not ask the Czech Chamber of Deputies to release Prime Minister Babiš again for prosecution over the Capi hnizdo suspected EU subsidy fraud, the spokesman for the Prague state attorney’s office, Ales Cimbala, has told journalists.

Saroch is of the view that the same prosecution is being led against Babis for which he was already released.

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In December, Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman ruled that the prosecution of Babis and his former assistant Jana Mayerova would continue. He also confirmed the halt to the prosecution to Babis’s family members by Saroch, the attorney in charge of the Čapí Hnízdo case.

Pavel Zeman said in December Saroch would have to deal with the question of whether it was necessary to ask again for Babiš’ release for prosecution.

“The supervising state attorney has not found any reasons to repeat the request because the same prosecution for which the defendant was released continues,” Cimbala said.

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The Farma Čapí Hnízdo company, at that time under the name ZZN Agro Pelhrimov, was originally a part of Babiš’ giant chemical, agricultural and food Agrofert holding. In December 2007, Čapí Hnízdo became a joint stock company with bearer shares.

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In the summer of 2008, it received a 50-million-crown subsidy within a programme for small and medium-sized businesses it would have never reached as a part of Agrofert. After a couple of years of observing the subsidy conditions, Čapí Hnízdo returned to Agrofert.

Babiš transferred the Agrofert concern to trust funds in early 2017 when he was finance minister in order to avoid conflict of interest accusations.

The police launched prosecution against Babiš and other suspects over Čapí Hnízdo in late 2017, but Saroch halted it in September 2019.

However, Zeman ruled that Saroch’s halt of the prosecution of Babiš and Mayerova was illegal and premature. However, the prosecution of Babis’s family members definitively ended.

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