Stork’s Nest court case against former PM Babiš to start on September 12

Court hearings in the case of alleged EU subsidy fraud committed by former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and his advisor at the time Jana Nagyová, commonly known as the Stork’s Nest affair, will begin on September 12 at Prague’s Municipal Court, news sites and Seznam Zpravy reported on Tuesday. Judge Jan Šott did not accept a motion calling for a preliminary hearing.

Mr Babiš and Ms Nagyová stand accused of having committed subsidy fraud and damage to the financial interests of the European Union. They could face a sentence of up to 10 years in prison if found guilty. The prosecution has proposed a three-year-long probation for the former prime minister as well as a fine of CZK 10 million. When it comes to Ms Nagyová, the prosecution has called for the same sentence, except that the fine is CZK 500,000. Mr Babiš says he is innocent of the crime.

Stork’s Nest is the name of a resort and conference centre in Central Bohemia that was finished in 2010. The company that built the centre used EU funding for small and medium enterprises to finance the project. However, it was found that the company was originally under Agrofert, the industrial holding that Mr Babiš founded, until it was renamed and transferred to an unknown owner via anonymous shares.