Czech prime minister says efforts to bring him to court are “political plot”
Police investigators have proposed pressing charges against Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and several members of his family over suspicions that he and his associates illegally tapped into a 50 million crown EU subsidy ten years ago. If the prime minister stands trial and is found guilty he could face a jail sentence of between five and ten years.
The Stork’s Nest affair, which the police have been investigating since 2015, is once again making headlines in the Czech Republic and raising questions regarding the future of the Czech government.
“All I can say is that this affair is politically motivated. How else would it be possible for journalists to have more information about it than the people involved? I have said from the beginning that this is a concerted political conspiracy against me.”
The news that the police have, for a second time now, proposed filing charges against the prime minister, has stirred the political scene. Opposition politicians are calling for his resignation on the grounds that the “presumption of innocence” principle does not apply to politicians.
However the prime minister’s coalition partner, the Social Democrats, who entered into a coalition with him with the knowledge that his might happen, are sitting tight. Social Democrat leader Jan Hamáček said his party would wait for the decision of the State Attorney’s Office before reaching any conclusions. The Communists, who have been reaping political benefits from supporting the minority government, say they will not judge the prime minister and will await the verdict of an independent court.
Any decision on the prime minister or the government’s future is thus in the hands of the man himself and his supporters. For the time being at least they seem ready to ride out the storm.