Police propose pressing charges of EU subsidy fraud against Czech PM

Police investigators have proposed pressing charges of EU subsidy fraud and damaging the interests of the European Union against Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš,and several family members including his wife, Czech Radio reported citing police sources.

The police investigation into the so-called Stork’s Nest affair, in which the prime minister is suspected of having illegally tapped into a 50 million crown EU subsidy ten years ago, has been concluded and the files have been handed over to the chief state attorney who will decide on whether to file charges.

If the prime minister is stripped of his immunity, tried and found guilty he could face a jail sentence of between five and ten years.

The prime minister has consistently denied the allegations and said on Wednesday that the timing of the police proposal for charges to be filed showed that the whole affair was politically motivated. He said there was no reason to hold an emergency meeting of the ruling coalition over the development.

Deputy Prime Minister and head of the Social Democrats Jan Hamáček said his party would wait for the decision of the State Attorney’s Office before reaching any conclusions.