Police ask lower house to waive immunity for ANO leader Babiš and fellow MP
Police have asked the lower house to waive parliamentary immunity in the case of MPs Andrej Babiš, the leader of the ANO party, and his deputy chairman Jaroslav Faltýnek. The police are pursuing an investigation regarding the Stork’s Nest – a recreation centre and hotel complex which belonged to a firm owned by Mr Babiš’ agro-chemical giant, Agrofert. The company received a 50 million crown EU grant for small and medium sized companies in what may have constituted fraud.
“I don’t understand what the police are building on. It is basically a sad last-ditch effort to by those who ordered it, to prevent me from running in the election this fall.”
Following the police request, politicians across the political spectrum from the ruling Social Democrats to TOP 09 to the Communists, indicated they would likely back the motion to strip Mr Babiš and his fellow MP of immunity. TOP 09’s Miroslav Kalousek:
“There are two things the police request can pertain to: either Mr Babiš’ crown bonds or the Stork’s Nest. If it is either of those two things, I can tell you we will unequivocally support the motion. If it is about something else, then we’ll see.”
“I have to trust in the professionality of the police and that the investigation had reached a stage where it was not possible to hold off the request and wait until after the election. That would be a clear double-standard.”
The police request will now have to be discussed by a special lower house committee; MPs could then address the matter in their first post-holiday session on September 5.