PRAGUE – Czech police again recommended on Monday that Prime Minister Andrej Babis be charged with alleged fraud involving European Union grants.
The Prague Public Prosecutor’s Office said it had received the results of the updated police investigation into Babis’ possible involvement in the $ 2 million fraud. Prosecutors must now decide whether to lay charges against the Babis or dismiss them.
Police already recommended the same thing two years ago, but a prosecutor decided to drop the case. That decision was later overturned by the country’s chief prosecutor Pavel Zeman, who said it was done prematurely and without enough evidence to support or drop the charges.
It was not immediately clear when the prosecution could complete the reassessment of the case. The file has 34,000 pages.
The case concerns a farm which received EU subsidies after its ownership of the Babis-owned conglomerate Agrofert, which has around 250 companies, was transferred to members of Babis’ family. The grants were intended for medium and small businesses and Agrofert would not have been eligible.
Later, Agrofert took back possession of the farm.
Babis, a populist billionaire, denies any wrongdoing.
Separately, a recently released European Union report concluded that Babis had a conflict of interest over EU subsidies involving his former business empire.
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