Prague - Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) has been fined 10,000 crowns in administrative proceedings for proposing Andrej Babis (ANO) for finance minister without demanding a lustration certificate from him, the Government Office told CTK today.
Sobotka said he would appeal the fine. He said he considers the decision political.
Babis told CTK that he would pay the fine and cover the costs of the proceedings. He said he can seen no sense in the decision.
A Prague district office spokeswoman Veronika Blazkova said the office decided on the case, but she did not provide any further information because the proceedings were closed to the public.
Sobotka faced a fine of up to 50,000 crowns and he can appeal the decision by mid-June, a reliable source told CTK.
The Government Office said the verdict is a political decision that is not based on legal relevance or a legal standard and that administrative offices are not authorised to make such decisions.
A negative lustration (screening) certificate, which future government members were used to submit, would refute collaboration with the former communist secret police (StB) of which billionaire businessman Babis is suspected.
A request for administrative proceedings against Sobotka was filed with the Prague district office in March.
The office also received the same proposal concerning President Milos Zeman who appointed Babis minister without a negative lustration certificate. However, no administrative proceedings can be launched against the head of state, the office said.
Sobotka said in April he did not feel guilty and that he would not use his lawmaker´s immunity to avoid the proceedings.
"Babis did not ask for a lustration certificate and so he did not have it. If I had not proposed him for minister, we would not have had a new government and we would have faced political instability after the elections," Sobotka said then.
Slovak-born food and media tycoon Babis is registered as an informer and later an agent of the StB in its files that are preserved in Slovakia. He, however, claims that the documents were fabricated and sues the Slovak Nation's Memory Institute (UPN), administering the security forces' files.