Transparency International (TI) has asked the Czech Justice Ministry to review a possible case of conflict of interest involving the country’s prime minister Andrej Babiš, after an investigation was halted by the Regional Council of Central Bohemia.
Early in September, the Czech Republic’s chief state attorney, Martin Erazim, confirmed a decision to halt an investigation into alleged corruption carried out by Mr Babiš. He said that the prime minister’s company, Agrofert, accused of a conflict of interest over EU funds, met the requirements to receive the subsidies.
However, a court in Černošice found Mr Babiš guilty and fined him 200,000 crowns (7,700 euros) for the offence.
“Of course, we will be very interested to know how the regional authority decided and on what reasons it based its decision,” commented Petr Leyer, TI’s legal advisor.
The NGO believes that the regional authority cannot act impartially and independently, considering that the Central Bohemian administration is dominated by members of Mr Babiš’ ANO party.
“We were not surprised by the decision,” stated David Ondráčka, director of TI. “This is another example where institutions managed by ANO make decisions in favour of Mr Babiš. This case illustrates his enormous conflict of interest: in fact, there is no executive institution where there is no threat of bias.”