Stork's Nest trial resumes

The Municipal Court in Prague resumed hearing the Stork's Nest case involving ex-PM and presidential candidate Andrej Babiš on Wednesday. The court session opened in the morning with testimony from an expert economic witness for the defence.

Both Mr Babiš and his former adviser and co-defendant Jana Nagyová should complete their statements in the afternoon. According to the Czech News Agency, if all the evidence has then been heard, the public prosecutor, defence attorneys and the defendants could proceed to closing arguments. It is possible that the verdict could be handed down before the first round of presidential elections, which take place on January 13 and 14. However, the main trial is still scheduled to go on until Friday.

Mr. Babiš and his former advisor Jana Nagyová stand accused of fraud for arranging for the Stork’s Nest company to be withdrawn from Babiš's Agrofert holding and for the shares to be put in the name of his children and partner, in order to falsely create the impression that it met the conditions for a small or medium-sized business and fraudulently acquire around CZK 50 million in EU subsidies.

The trial follows a seven-year investigation. Both defendants face five to ten years in prison.

Author: Anna Fodor