Today: Sunday, 29 January 2023 year

The ex-premier was acquitted in the case of illegal receipt of EU subsidies in the Czech Republic

The ex-premier was acquitted in the case of illegal receipt of EU subsidies in the Czech Republic

A court in the Czech Republic found ex-prime minister and dollar billionaire Andrei Babis innocent in the case of illegally receiving EU subsidies.

 

The prosecution demanded a suspended prison sentence and a fine for Babiš. The court’s decision, the agency notes, “improved the billionaire’s prospects in this week’s presidential election, where he is one of the favorites.”

Earlier it was reported that the Prague City Court on Monday was to rule on the criminal case of former Czech Prime Minister Babis and his former adviser Yana Nadiova, who are accused of illegally receiving an EU subsidy of 2 million euros.


Babiš and Nadiova were accused of withdrawing the Stork’s Nest Farm from Babiš’s holding, Agrofert, which is the largest in its industry in Eastern Europe, in early 2008, which, as a small firm, became eligible for an EU subsidy for its tourism business.

After receiving a subsidy, this company was again included in the agricultural holding and never engaged in the tourism business.
Babiš, who is now a candidate for the Czech presidency (the first round of elections will take place on January 13-14), has constantly stated that the court case was organized by his political opponents.

The arguments for this decision of the City Court of Prague have not yet been reported, according to Czech TV. Judge Jan Schott reads aloud the case file, which he says runs to “hundreds of pages“.

Earlier, the prosecutor Yaroslav Sharokh, who was in charge of this case, suggested that both defendants be given the lowest possible sentence – a suspended prison sentence and a fine. According to the prosecutor, it is necessary to take into account that 15 years have passed since the commission of the crime and the fact that Babiš’s company has long ago returned the illegally received subsidy to the EU.


Babish and Nadiova did not participate in the court session on Monday, their interests were represented by lawyers.


Babiš founded and led the centrist political movement ANO in 2011, which came second in parliamentary elections in 2013, thanks to which Babiš joined the new cabinet as deputy prime minister and head of the finance ministry. In 2017, his movement won the parliamentary elections, and Babiš became prime minister. In the 2021 elections, the ANO movement narrowly lost to the bloc of liberal parties, after which Babiš led the parliamentary opposition.


Currently, Babiš is a candidate for the presidency of the Czech Republic, one of the top three contenders for this post. The first round of elections will take place on January 13-14. The candidacy of Babis, as the most experienced politician of all candidates, is actively supported by the current president of the republic, Milos Zeman.