Prosecutor drops case against Babis Jr
State prosecutor Jaroslav Saroch halted the prosecution of Andrej Babis junior, the prime ministers’ son in the Stork’s Nest case.
The prosecution was stopped because the act is not a crime. The part concerning the Prime Minister’s son was excluded from the central part of the case last spring. The Prosecutor General will review the decision to stop the prosecution.
Sharoch stopped prosecution of all the accused last August, including Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and his family. However, in December, Pavel Zeman, the Deputy Chief Prosecutor, decided that the prosecution of the Prime Minister and his former advisor Jana Mayerová will continue. At the same time, however, he confirmed the cessation of the prosecution of Babiš’s wife Monika, daughter of Adriana Bobek, brother-in-law of Martin Herodes and former member of the Board of Directors of Čapí’s Nest, Josef Nenadál.
The essence of the case is that the Stork’s Nest Farm originally belonged to Babis holding Agrofert. In December 2007, it became a joint-stock company with bearer shares. It later received a EUR 50 million European subsidy in the SME program to which it would not be entitled to as part of Agrofert. After several years, the company returned under Agrofert. Babiš owned the holding until February 2017, then invested in trust funds. The Prime Minister has long refused the accusation.
Babis, the younger lives in Switzerland, his case was ruled out by the police in March last year.
They failed to prove the subjective side of crime, ie, fault. Police and Sharoch must respect Zeman’s legal view that, among other things, a more thorough evaluation of European legislation and related case law is necessary, as well as the issue of Babis and Mayer, who signed the grant application for the Stork’s Nest Farm.
Sharoch said in an August resolution on the cessation of criminal prosecution that the change of the company into a shareholder with bearer shares occurred on Babis’ initiative. The anonymous shares sold to pre-selected persons, Babiš’s children to Adriana and Andrej, as well as to the Prime Minister’s wife. According to the prosecutor, it is clear that by this step, Babiš wanted to maintain influence over the company.
Baboch’s statement that he bought shares for his children to try to do business is considered by Sharoch to be purpose-built. The plaintiff pointed out that at the time of the purchase of shares, Babis Jr was in the US training as a pilot. After returning to the Czech Republic, he wasn’t involved in the company.
Sharoch initially stopped the prosecution mainly because he failed to provide evidence that the accused would give false information in the application for a subsidy or would conceal such information. Since the company’s shares were bearer shares, according to Sharoch, it was also impossible to prove who owned them at the time of signing the subsidy contract. It wasn’t able to prove that Stork’s Nest Farm was not an independent undertaking between the submission of the subsidy application and the signature of the contract. At the same time, it could not be linked to Agrofert.
The Prime Minister’s son sent e-mails to the police last January, saying he was kidnapped in Crimea due to the Stork Nest case. Police from Prague 1 then ended the investigation of the case, according to them, no crime did not happen, for the error were disciplined. The police later reopened the kidnapping case. The prime minister denied the accusation, his son suffering from schizophrenia.