The chairman of the ANO movement and former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš considers the Čapí hnízdo case to be a fabricated political process. He stated this after the supervising prosecutor, Jaroslav Šaroch, filed an indictment against him on Monday. He intends to prove his innocence in court.
“I have never done anything criminal, neither in the past nor in politics, where I have a clean slate. And I will prove that in court,” Babiš said in response, adding that the prosecutor’s move confirmed that this is a political trial.
Along with Babiš, his former adviser, Jana Nagyová (formerly Mayerová), was also indicted. The prosecutor accuses them of subsidy fraud and damaging the EU’s financial interests. The second person is charged with helping in the subsidy fraud. If convicted, they face up to ten years in prison.
Subsidies for small and medium-sized enterprises
The essence of the case is that Čapí hnízdo originally belonged to Babiš’s holding Agrofert. However, in December 2007, it was transformed into a joint-stock company with shares in the owner. It later received a European subsidy under the SME program, which it would not have been entitled to as part of Agrofert.
Babiš’s children and partner reportedly owned the shares. The company returned to Agrofert after several years. In 2017, Babiš put the holding into his trust funds.