Babis blames Czech ‘mafia’ for offshore data leak

The investigation put the Czech PM under pressure for a secret offshore-based purchase of €15 million property located in southern France. [EPA-EFE/ARIS OIKONOMOU]

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš was among the world leaders whose secret wealth was revealed in the Pandora Papers leak. Only five days before the Czech parliamentary elections, Babiš denied any wrongdoing and blamed the “Czech mafia” for the offshore data leak.

The Pandora Papers was analysed by the largest-ever international group of investigative reporters, involving more than 600 journalists from 117 countries. The investigation revealed that the Czech PM allegedly owns an offshore-based €15 million property located in southern France.

According to Babiš, the timing of the Pandora Papers revelation is linked to the Czech elections due from 8-9 October.

“It is not international, it is our mafia,” Babiš said during an election debate on CNN Prima News. “It is an affair from 2009. The timing is very interesting,” he added.

The Czech prime minister insists that everything he did was legal. “The money was taken out from the Czech bank, they were taxed and the money was mine,” Babiš has claimed.

Journalists from Investigace.cz and their foreign colleagues from The Guardian approached Babiš with questions several times before revealing their findings, but Babiš refused to comment.

“When we wanted to ask him in person, he carefully blacklisted us and our foreign colleagues from his press conference with Viktor Orbán,” server Investigace.cz informed.

As EURACTIV.cz reported, several Czech and foreign journalists were banned from the joint press conference held by the two leaders last Wednesday in Czechia. The Czech government office claimed they were not allowed to attend the conference due a lack of capacity.

Pandora Papers reveals hidden wealth of world's most powerful

A massive leak of financial documents on Sunday (3 October) that allegedly ties 27 EU politicians and global figures including King Abdullah of Jordan, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, and associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin to secret stores of wealth.

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