The postponement of the advertising branch of the Sparrow’s Nest case is not valid, the police made a mistake

The postponement of the advertising branch of the Sparrow’s Nest case is not valid, the police made a mistake
The postponement of the advertising branch of the Sparrow’s Nest case is not valid, the police made a mistake

“In the matter of suspicion of committing a tax offense in connection with the provision of advertising by the company Farma Čapí hnízdo, in which the High State Prosecutor’s Office in Prague supervises, in the initial phase of the supervision, an error on the part of the police authority was detected, which the public prosecutor performing the supervision did not correct. This is an incorrect determination of the circle of damaged entities, therefore an instruction was issued to the Municipal Public Prosecutor’s Office in Prague to arrange a remedy. The resolution by which the matter was postponed is therefore not final,” reads the statement of Kateřina Weissová, state representative of the High Prosecutor’s Office in Prague.

It is the High Prosecutor’s Office in Prague that supervises the advertising branch of the Čapí nest case.

The city prosecutor’s office informed the police of the postponement of the case in June this year, and confirmed this procedure itself the following month. According to him, the evidence showed that the advertising spots, audio-visual production or promotional material had actually been created.

The High Prosecutor’s Office subsequently requested both the police and surveillance file for inspection. Surveillance continues, Weiss noted.

“Regarding the matter in question, I can confirm that the local prosecutor’s office has recorded the instruction from the High Prosecutor’s Office in Prague and will now deal with it. As it follows from the press release of the High Prosecutor’s Office in Prague, this is an instruction aimed at eliminating the defect consisting in the incorrect or insufficient method of sending out or delivering the decision to postpone the case,” said Aleš Cimbala, the spokesman for the Prague prosecutors.

Case history

The so-called advertising branch has been dealt with separately by the police since 2018. According to earlier information from the server, criminal investigators in the case suspected that the sum of 272 million crowns between 2010 and 2013 did not actually go to advertising, but helped Čapí hnízd repay the loan and Agrofert reduce you taxes Agrofert belongs to the trust funds of the chairman of ANO and former prime minister Andrej Babiš.

Criminal investigators began to deal with the suspicion of tax evasion during the investigation of a possible subsidy fraud, for which Babiš and his former advisor Jana Nagyová are now indicted.

The Seznam Zprávy server previously reported that, according to the witness, payments to the Hornbill’s Nest for advertising were fictitious or overpriced. Although they were reported as specific payments, for example for billboards on tennis courts or for printed matter, in reality they were often just virtual items, he said. According to the server, the case concerned a wider circle of suspects – former managers of Agrofert companies. Criminal investigators investigated her for several years, no one was charged.

In the subsidy branch of the case, the essence of the case is that Čapí hnízdo originally belonged to Babiš’s Agrofert holding, but in 2007 it was transformed into a joint-stock company with owner-owned shares and later received a fifty-million European subsidy in the program for small and medium-sized enterprises, for which, as part of Agrofertu was not entitled. The shares were allegedly owned by Babiš’s children and his partner. The company returned to Agrofert after several years. Babiš Holding invested in trust funds in 2017.

The Prague Municipal Court will start dealing with the indictment in this branch in September. The public prosecutor accuses Nagy of subsidy fraud and damage to the financial interests of the EU, and Babiš of aiding subsidy fraud. According to the criminal code, they face a maximum of ten years in prison, the prosecutor proposes a three-year probation and fines for them. Both defendants have previously pleaded not guilty.

The article is in Czech

Tags: postponement advertising branch Sparrows Nest case valid police mistake

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