Czech PM denies fraud in reopened corruption case

Pavel Zeman, the chief public prosecutor of the Czech Republic has decided to reopen a case against Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš claiming that he illegally obtained two million euros in EU funds in 2008 for his Stork’s Nest resort by concealing his ownership of the business.

The case has already been investigated by Czech authorities, however, it was eventually halted in September.

According to Mr Zeman, the decision to halt the investigation was “against the law and premature”.

“At this point, we don’t have enough evidence to press or drop the charges,” he told the Czech press.

Mr Babiš, who is the fourth richest man in the Czech Republic, denied wrongdoing. “I am convinced I haven’t done anything illegal,” Mr Babiš told Politico, pointing out that he is relieved now that his family was excluded from the proceedings which he called “a rude, invented case.”

The renewal of the investigation comes only days after a leaked report of the European Commission found a direct conflict of interest concerning the Czech PM as he is claimed to have direct ties to Agrofert, a Czech business conglomerate founded by Mr Babiš.

“Andrej Babiš is still the owner of the Agrofert holding since February 2017, of two trust funds which he directly controls,” wrote Dennik N, quoting the European Commission’s report.

The Czech PM, again refuted the claims.

The report adds that Mr Babiš “has a direct economic interest in the holding’s success.”

If tried and convicted, Mr Babiš could face several years in prison, however, Czech president Milos Zeman has already indicated that he would be pardoned