Czech police have called on parliament to allow for the prosecution of ANO party leader Andrej Babis, the leading candidate to become prime minister in elections slated to be held in October.
Babis, a billionaire businessman whose party is a junior partner in the coalition government, is under investigation over millions of euros’ worth of European Union funds that his construction company reportedly received to build a conference centre near Prague.
“This is the last desperate step by people who want to get rid of me as a politician,” Babis told the Reuters news agency by telephone.
As reported by Reuters, Parliament speaker Jan Hamacek, a member of the ruling Social Democrats, said he received a request from Prague economic crime police unit to lift the parliamentary immunity of Babis and his deputy in ANO, Jaroslav Faltynek.
The request will be put to a vote in the full lower house of parliament, possibly in September. If approved, police will be allowed to press charges.
According to the Czech News Agency, ANO’s spokesman Vladimir Vorechovsky said Babis is now on a holiday in Italy.