Former Czech Premier Andrej Babis loses case on collaborating with communist-era secret police

PRAGUE (AP) — Slovakia’s Supreme Court upheld a previous ruling that dismissed a lawsuit by former Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis against allegations that he collaborated with Czechoslovakia’s communist-era secret police.

Babis informed the local Czech CTK news agency about the verdict on Wednesday.

The Slovak-born Babis was suing Slovakia’s Institute of the Nation’s Memory, which holds parts of his secret police files following the division of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993.

Some of the files were destroyed, but the institute said those that still exist contain evidence that Babis was an agent under the code name “Bures” from 1982. Babis has vehemently denied that.

The verdict is final.

Bratislava’s regional court originally rejected the lawsuit in 2018, but the country’s Constitutional Court ordered a retrial, saying the institute could not be sued in the case and the respondent should be the Slovak Interior Ministry.

The regional court dismissed the case again in 2022.

Babis, a billionaire, is currently in opposition after his populist ANO centrist movement lost the 2021 parliamentary election. He was running to become the Czech president in the election for the largely ceremonial post in January but lost to Petr Pavel, a retired army general.