The Czech Republic has once again made headlines in the world media. The photographs of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) appear on the front page of many newspapers and servers. The reason for this is the Pandora Papers case, in which investigative journalists from around the world have declassified documents on suspicious financial transactions of political leaders and other prominent figures.
“Chateau gets Czech PM in trouble,” the prestigious German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung writes on the main page of its website. Next to the article is a large photograph of Babiš wearing a cap with “Strong Czech Republic.” The case also dominates the paper’s print version, which also features a portrait of Babiš on its front page.
Expert: A whole new level of tax evasion
In the United States, the case has been covered mainly by The Washington Post, which has a photo of Babiš on the front page of its website.
Babiš appears in the collage alongside Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, and King Abdullah II of Jordan, who are also affected by the new revelations.
The Czech prime minister’s case has also attracted the attention of the British TV channel Sky News, which quotes Pete Jones, an expert on organized crime and corruption, on its website. According to him, the Pandora Papers case speaks of “a whole new level of tax evasion and concealment of assets.”
“In the past, there have been reactions to cases like this: one bad apple says nothing, but you know what, we’re not all like that. These documents show the interconnectedness of the offshore world, ” noted Jones.
Journalists were denied access to the press conference
According to the International Consortium of Journalists (ICIJ) findings, Babiš sent nearly CZK 400 million through his offshore companies, which he then used to buy 16 properties, including the Bigaud mansion. Experts say the operation bears the hallmarks of money laundering. The National Centre is already investigating the information against Organised Crime (NCOZ).
The ICIJ and its partners first approached Andrej Babiš himself for a comment, but he refused to respond. His spokeswoman, Jana Adamcová, did not respond to the questions sent to her.
Babiš defends himself in the Pandora Papers case by saying that he did not engage in illegal transactions.