Misappropriating funding?: Czech ex-Prime Minister Babis accused

embezzling funding?
Czech ex-prime minister Babis charged

Andrej Babis faces legal trouble. The public prosecutor accuses the former Prime Minister of the Czech Republic of subsidy fraud and files charges. However, the presidency could protect the politician from criminal prosecution.

After years of investigation, the public prosecutor’s office in the Czech Republic has brought charges against former Prime Minister Andrej Babis. The entrepreneur and billionaire would be accused of subsidy fraud and damage to the financial interests of the European Union, said a spokesman for the prosecution in Prague.

Babis is accused of having swindled the equivalent of almost two million euros in subsidies for the construction of the “Stork’s Nest” wellness resort in 2008. The funds were intended for small and medium-sized enterprises. But Babis was at the head of a corporate conglomerate with almost 200 companies in the agricultural, food and chemical industries. A former employee is charged with aiding and abetting.

Babis himself has repeatedly denied the allegations. The 67-year-old founder of the populist party ANO lost the parliamentary elections in October. There is speculation that he could run for president. The second term of office of the current head of state Milos Zeman ends in March 2023. The president is immune from criminal prosecution in the Czech Republic.

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