Prague City Prosecutor Considers Criminal Liability of Three Witnesses in Čapí hnízdo Case

Petr Horník

The City Prosecutor’s Office in Prague is now considering the possible criminal liability of three witnesses in the case of Čapí hnízdo, according to a report by Radim Vaculík in Právo. The judge in the case, Jan Šott, drew attention to the possible illegal actions of the three witnesses during the January verdict in which Babiš and Nagyová were acquitted.

The three witnesses under scrutiny are Agrofert’s financial director, Petra Procházková; former CEO of Farm Čapí hnízdo, František Šlingr; and former Farm Čapí hnízdo director, Tomáš Raka. Šott indicated that prosecutors and the police should consider whether Procházková and Šlingr committed perjury during their testimony and that Raka’s testimony could even constitute blackmail.

This latest development in the Čapí hnízdo case means that Babiš and Nagyová will have to go to court again, this time in front of the Court of Appeal in Prague, following the appeal by state prosecutor Jaroslav Šaroch.

The Prague City Prosecutor’s Office is continuing to investigate these latest allegations against the three witnesses and is reviewing the case files and witness statements. The prosecutors are assessing whether there is sufficient evidence to suggest that any of the witnesses may have committed a criminal offense.

In a statement to Právo, a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office said they would determine whether there are sufficient grounds to refer the matter to the appropriate district prosecutor’s office for further action. The spokesperson also confirmed that the prosecutors are reviewing Šaroch’s appeal and will focus on the three witnesses.

The Čapí hnízdo case centers around allegations of fraud relating to a CZK 50 million subsidy provided by the EU to the Stork’s Nest Farm. Andrej Babiš, the former prime minister and billionaire businessman, is accused of illegally acquiring the subsidy for the farm. The case has been ongoing for several years and has caused significant controversy in the Czech Republic.

The possible criminal liability of the three witnesses in the case highlights the ongoing nature of the investigation and the complexity of the legal proceedings surrounding the Čapí hnízdo case. It remains to be seen how this latest development will impact the issue and whether any further charges will be brought against those involved.