Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš could face European Union prosecutors over an alleged conflict of interest, despite surviving a confidence vote in parliament.
The controversy concerns a farm now owned by Babiš” holding company, Agrofert, that had received EU subsidies.
Prosecutors have said that the company should not have been eligible for EU subsidies, which were intended for smaller businesses.
A Prague prosecutor told AFP news agency that the case had been referred to the new European public prosecutor’s office.
The authority, which began work on June 1, is responsible for fighting fraud in the EU and will also monitor the distribution of the €750 billion recovery plan.
Czech police have previously recommended that the Prime Minister should be indicted over the alleged EU fraud.
Babis, the fifth richest Czech citizen, has denied any wrongdoing.
But a recent European Commission report has also separately found that Babiš has a conflict of interest as Prime Minister, involving his former business empire.
The Czech PM had “decisive influence over the EU trust funds,” the report concluded.
On Thursday, Babiš’ coalition government survived a no-confidence vote over the alleged fraud and the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Only 89 of the opposition lawmakers voted to oust the Cabinet, well short of the 101 majority needed.
The Czech Republic is due to hold a general election in October.