The 69-year-old Babis, who served as prime minister from 2017 to 2021, has always denied any wrongdoing, calling the trial 'a political process'
Prague (AFP) - Former Czech billionaire premier Andrej Babis will go back to court over an EU fraud case after an appeals court cancelled his acquittal, a specialised judiciary website said Wednesday.
The High Court in Prague scrapped the January verdict acquitting Babis because of “insufficient and wrongly used evidence”, said the Ceska justice (Czech Judiciary) website.
“The case is now returning to the Municipal Court which has to decide again. The prosecutor originally proposed a three-year suspended sentence for Babis,” it added.
Babis stood trial for helping take his Stork Nest farm south of Prague out of his giant Agrofert food, chemicals and media holding to make it eligible for a $2-million European Union subsidy for small companies.
He was charged by police in 2017 and indicted in March 2022 after parliament had stripped him of his immunity as lawmaker.
The 69-year-old Babis, who served as prime minister from 2017 to 2021, has always denied any wrongdoing, calling the trial “a political process”.
The Municipal Court acquitted him in early January as he was running for president against former NATO general Petr Pavel, who won the run-off later that month.
The Slovak-born populist Babis, who is the fifth wealthiest Czech with fortune worth $7.5 billion according to Forbes magazine, was charged alongside his former aide Jana Nagyova.
He is also facing accusations that he served as a Communist secret police agent in the 1980s.
Babis currently sits as a lawmaker for his centrist populist ANO party, which narrowly lost a general election in 2021.
ANO still leads opinion polls with support topping 30 percent.