Brussels, 02/06/2021 – The European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) launches a formal investigation on irregular use of EU subsidies by the Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš. According to Czech authorities, this case meets the conditions of mandatory jurisdiction of the newly established anti-fraud prosecutor in accordance with the relevant EU regulation, to which it must be handed over without delay. Czech Pirate MEP Mikuláš Peksa has been pointing out the prime minister’s conflict of interest since 2017.
Mikuláš Peksa, Czech MEP and Chairperson of the European Pirates, comments: „The Pirates have been pushing for the creation of the EPPO for a long time. Finally, the Office became operational on 1 June. Already in its first days, the EPPO has taken over the case of Mr. Babiš’s conflict of interests, due to suspected criminal activity. That is great news: an independent body might finally move the investigation forward. Moreover, the EPPO could also be huge help against oligarchization and would improve justice in countries such as Hungary or Poland.“
Last week, the Czech police accused Babiš of fraud involving European Union subsidies. The authorities recommended the same two years ago, but the prosecutor dropped the case. That decision was later overturned by the Czech Republic’s chief prosecutor Pavel Zeman, who has now resigned. According to the police, the Babiš-owned Agrofert conglomerate unjustifiably received EU subsidies meant for medium-sized and small businesses.