Stork nest case

Article

December 3, 2021

The Stork's Nest case is a grant affair involving Andrej Babiš and other people. The case concerns the eligibility of a subsidy in the amount of CZK 50 million for the construction of the Čapí hnízdo complex, which was drawn in 2008 by Farma Čapí hnízdo, a.s. (formerly ZZN AGRO Pelhřimov), which was part of the Agrofert holding until the end of 2007. The subsidy was intended only for small and medium-sized enterprises. The subsidy was eventually returned by Imoba, the successor to Farma Čapí hnízdo, to the Central Bohemia Regional Operational Program in 2018, after it was excluded from European funding. younger. Persons were accused of committing the crimes of subsidy fraud (Section 212 of the Criminal Code) and damaging the financial interests of the European Union (Section 260 of the Criminal Code) in a "criminal association" (Section 89 (17) of the former Criminal Code). According to the allegations, the Agrofert Group drew a subsidy for small and medium-sized companies through a stuck small company, which should have caused damage of almost CZK 50 million. The prosecution of some people has already been stopped, but in December 2019 the prosecution of Andrej Babiš and Jana Mayerová (the manager of Farma Čapí hnízdo) and the separately discussed prosecution of Andrej Babiš Jr. are still ongoing.

Timeline

In March 2016, the credibility of Andrej Babiš (then Minister of Finance) was weakened by several conflicting statements about the use of a European subsidy for the construction of the Stork's Nest complex. The essence of the "Stork's Nest case" is the suspicion of purposeful drawing of the European Union subsidy intended only for small or medium-sized companies, when according to critics the Agrofert Group formally transferred Stork's Nest to another owner covered by paper shares in 2008, In 2006, Imoba from the Agrofert holding became the owner of the original distillery complex. In 2007, the limited liability company ZZN AGRO Pelhřimov from the Agrofert holding company was transformed into a joint-stock company of the same name with anonymous shares as owners, and in 2008 it was renamed Farm Čapí hnízdo and received a subsidy from ROP Central Bohemia. In 2014, anonymous shares were banned by law and Stork's Nest became part of Imoba. In September 2010, the weekly Ekonom informed about the disputed grant of a European subsidy. Based on articles about this case published in the Free Forum and the Euro weekly, a criminal complaint was filed in November 2015. In 2015, during the filming of the Matrix AB documentary, Babiš unknowingly stated on camera that "This is the best project I have ever come up with." In the past, the stork's nest was repeatedly inspected by the authorities without any finding. ”However, the Neovlivni.cz server immediately responded by finding that the ROP Central Bohemia auditors had already identified the provision of the subsidy as ineligible expenditure in 2011. KPMG's audit for the Ministry of Finance came to the same conclusion. A fine of 3.6 million crowns was imposed, which, including the penalty, amounted to over 6 million crowns. The Regional Council of the Central Bohemia Cohesion Region (ROP Central Bohemia body) waived 99% of the amount in February 2012 and the company had to pay a fine of only 37,000 crowns plus penalties. Regarding the ambiguity of the ownership, Babiš claimed on March 9, 2016 that he knew nothing about it and said: “It is not mine. It's a company that belongs to the holding. "

Discussion of the case in the Chamber of Deputies in the period from 2016 to the beginning of 2018

At an extraordinary meeting of the Chamber of Deputies convened on

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