The trial of Andre Babis Jr. is still ongoing. Photo Credit: Freepik

Prague, Sept 26 (CTK) – Psychologists and psychiatrists will assess the mental condition of Andrej Babis Jr before 30 November as part of the Capi hnizdo suspected subsidy fraud trial of his father, billionaire and former prime minister Andrej Babis Sr (ANO), following a decision today by judge Jan Sott.

Babis Jr. testified in court on 16 September. He told the court that he had no idea that his father had transferred Farma Capi hnizdo firm’s shares onto him in the late 2000s, and he had never signed a document on the transfer. He said he only later signed a document in the seat of his father’s giant Agrofert holding without reading its content.

Babis Jr said his father transferred the shares onto him without his knowledge, making him a straw man.

A handwriting expert concluded that it seemed the signature on the transfer of shares had not been made by Babis Jr.

Babis Sr previously dismissed his son’s assertions, claiming that his son suffers from schizophrenia, is not capable of testifying and has been misused by journalists.

Public prosecutor Jaroslav Saroch proposed that the mental condition of Andrej Babis Jr be checked by experts and the judge agreed with his request.

Along with Babis Sr, his former aide Jana Nagyova has also been charged. They both plead not guilty; if found guilty, they face up to ten years in prison. The prosecution proposed suspended sentences and fines as their punishment. Nagyova is currently running for senator and has advanced to the second round in the Jihlava constituency, to face Senate chairman Milos Vystrcil (ODS) next weekend.

The prosecution says that in late 2007 and 2008, Babis Sr masterminded the divestment of Farma Capi Hnizdo from Agrofert and the sale of the shares to his children and partner, in order that the company outwardly met the criteria for receiving a CZK 50 million subsidy designated for small- and medium-sized firms.

Sott said if the presentation of evidence proceeds according to schedule, the closing speeches in the trial may be made before the end of the year. The court proceedings will be held on 19-22 December.

Farma Capi Hnizdo would not have received a loan from the HSBC bank to build a recreation and conference centre without backing from Agrofert, HSBC former employee Filip Koutny told the court today.

Koutny said the bank had known that Farma Capi Hnizdo was connected with Agrofert, and the documents also showed it.

Czech media previously reported that Babis was named as the owner of Capi Hnizdo in these documents.

Koutny said Agrofert financial director Petra Prochazkova had told him that Capi hnizdo was originally to be Babis’s private project, but this plan later changed. Prochazkova is to testify in court this week.

HSBC former director general Frantisek Kopriva also told the court today that he had information that Capi Hnizdo was a project belonging to Agrofert.

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