CZECH police have asked
the parliament to allow for
prosecution of ANO party
leader Andrej Babis, the
central European country’s
most serious candidate to
become prime minister after
an election due in October, the
parliamentary speaker said.
Police have been investigating
whether a conference center near
Prague, built by a company that
Babis owned in the past, may have flouted rules to receive a
50 million crown ($2.25 million)
European Union subsidy.
Babis’s ANO party leads
opinion polls ahead of the
October 20-21 election by a
double-digit margin ahead of
nearest competitors.
“I can confirm I have received
a request to agree to prosecution
of two members of parliament,
Mr (Jaroslav) Faltynek and Mr
Babis,” speaker Jan Hamacek, a member of the ruling Social
Democrats, told Reuters by
Hamacek added the request
came from a police unit dealing
with economic crime but
declined to give any details.
The police request will be
subject to a vote in the full lower
house of parliament. If the house
agrees to lift Babis’s immunity,
police will be allowed to press
A spokeswoman for the
Prague state attorney’s office
told Reuters the request was
connected to the case of the
subsidies for the conference
center, Stork Nest.
Babis, a billionaire
businessman, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the
case. He was not immediately
available for comment.
Prague police, which are in
charge of the investigation,
refused to comment.
Babis’s ANO party is now a
junior partner in a three-party
coalition led by the Social
Democrats of Prime Minister
Bohuslav Sobotka. Babis left
the cabinet in May after a row
with Sobotka over his business
Faltynek is a deputy
chairman at ANO and a
former senior official at
Agrofert, a holding of over
200 companies Babis owned
until moving it to a trust fund
earlier this year.

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