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19 Jan, 2018 12:57

Czech parliament lifts PM Babis’ immunity amid fraud allegations

The Czech lower house voted on Friday to allow prosecution of Prime Minister Andrej Babis in a case of alleged EU subsidy fraud. The charge has also blocked his attempts at creating a government. Lawmakers voted 111-69 to lift Babis’ parliamentary immunity. Jaroslav Faltynek, the deputy chairman of Babis’ ANO party, was also stripped of his immunity. Both men deny wrongdoing in the case, in which police allege Babis hid ownership of a farm and convention center a decade ago to receive a €2 million (US$2.45 million) subsidy involving EU funds, Reuters reports. Babis, the country’s second richest person via his Agrofert conglomerate, where Faltynek also worked, has called the subsidy case a ploy by opponents to drive him out of politics.