A Czech parliamentary committee recommended on Wednesday (30 August) that lawmakers should lift the immunity of Andrej Babiš, the leader of the most popular party and candidate for prime minister, and allow police to charge him with subsidy fraud.
Babiš, a billionaire businessman and founder and chief of ANO movement, denies any wrongdoing. He has repeatedly called the police actions against him a political ploy meant to hurt him in the Czech Republic’s 2-21 October election..
Police have been investigating Babiš over accusations his companies illegally received a 2 million-euro European Union subsidy in 2008 for a farm and conference centre near Prague.
The committee’s chairwoman, Miroslava Nemcova of the opposition Civic Democratic Party, said there were no grounds to believe the investigation was biased.
“I have no impression whatsoever from what we have been shown that … the investigation bodies are playing any improper game with us,” she told reporters.ANO, which has run on promises to clean up graft in the government, has kept a double-digit lead ahead of rivals in opinion polls which have not shown any significant deterioration in support since the police requested immunity be lifted on 10 August.
Babiš reiterated on Wednesday after speaking to the committee that he saw the investigation as politically charged.
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