Illustrative photo – Stork nest farm (pictured on May 20, 2017).
Prague – The police will once again look into suspected tax evasion in connection with the Čapí hnízdo Farm. The decision to postpone the case was canceled by the High State Prosecutor's Office (VSZ) in Prague. Information of the Aktuálně.cz server. confirmed by the Prague Municipal Prosecutor's Office (MSZ). The case concerns suspected tax evasion in payments from companies from the Agrofert holding for advertising to the Čapí hnízdo conference center, so far no one has been charged.
“Although it is not possible to specify the content of the instruction and subsequent actions in any detail due to the non-publicity of the preliminary proceedings, it can be generally noted that the instruction instructed the public prosecutor to supplement the existing investigation in cooperation with the police,” he said in a press release Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Aleš Cimbala. According to him, the content of the instruction did not instruct the prosecutors to accuse anyone.
Cimbala added that the fulfillment of the instruction will require a longer time subsidy. “At the current state, it is not possible to predict what the state of evidence will be after the execution of the imposed instruction and the execution of follow-up actions, i.e. whether the newly performed actions will lead to the initiation of criminal prosecution, or whether the case will have to be handled differently (for example, postponed) with regard to the state of evidence ,” the spokesperson added.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed the police about the postponement last June, and confirmed this procedure itself the following month. However, during the supervision, the VSZ discovered a mistake by the police, which related to the incorrect determination of the circle of injured subjects, so the matter was returned to the city prosecutors, who, after completing it in October, returned the file to their superiors for the continuation of the supervisory review.
Supervisory prosecutor Kateřina Weissová told Aktuálně.cz that the public prosecutor from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not deal with the faulty procedure of the police body in evaluating the conclusions of expert opinions, according to her, some evidence was also left out. According to the public prosecutor, the assessment of the Financial Appeal Directorate will also be important.
In the advertising branch of the case, the police officers are dealing with the suspicion that the amount of 272 million crowns between 2010 and 2013 did not actually go to advertising, but helped Čapí hnízd repay the loan and to Agrofert to reduce taxes. The advertising payments were suspected to be either fictitious or overpriced. According to the now annulled decision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the evidence showed, among other things, that the advertising spots, audiovisual production and promotional material were indeed created.
Agrofert belongs to the trust funds of the chairman of ANO and former prime minister Andrej Babiš (ANO), which together with indicted by his former advisor Jana Nagyová in the case surrounding the granting of a subsidy to Farma Čapí hnízdo. In January, the Prague Municipal Court acquitted them of the charges without jurisdiction, the public prosecutor can appeal against the verdict to the High Court in Prague.