Babiš may have faked his son's signature, expert tells court

A psychiatrist at the Čapí Hnízdo court case today also assessed Babiš's son as being in a 'stabilized' mental state and able to testify. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 19.12.2022 15:00:00 (updated on 19.12.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

In today’s brief resumption of the Čapí Hnízdo (Stork's Nest) subsidy-fraud court case, an expert graphologist stated that former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš may have falsified the signature of his son, Babiš Jr, ČTK writes.

Babiš Sr. (along with former aide Jana Nagyová) is accused of claiming a EUR 2 million (about CZK 50 million) subsidy from the EU for the development of a project named Čapí Hnízdo, or the "Stork’s Nest," in 2007-08 when it had de facto been part of Babiš’s multi-million Agrofert conglomerate.

Prosecutors accuse Babiš of faking his son’s signature to fraudulently show that Babiš Sr. had transferred shares of the company to Babiš Jr. His son, however, testified in court in September that he had signed no such document.

He accuses his father of making him into a strawman for political gain, infamously confronting Babiš Sr. during a 2021 campaign trail.

Forensic handwriting expert Aleš Čulík told the court today that “the signatures on the documents show identical signs with the common handwriting of defendant Babiš [Sr.], and thus he can be taken into consideration as the person who had signed them.” Čulík, however, said that he would need further text samples for a definitive result.

Čulík pointed out today that his job had been obfuscated by the refusal of Babiš Sr. to provide him with more signatures.

The mental state of Babiš Jr.

Babiš Sr. says that his son’s schizophrenia prevents him from making any valid assertions or testimonies in court. However, the court’s hearing today from psychology and psychiatry experts who assessed Babiš Jr.’s mental condition and trustworthiness presents a different picture.

Psychiatrist Gabriela Leblová told the court that Babiš Jr. had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia that was now treated. "It was not found out that the assessed person had mental functions severely damaged and that his acts were pathologically motivated," she said.

Psychologist Jindřiška Záhorská similarly said that "there were no signs of hallucinations or delusions," but mentioned that it was impossible to conclude whether Babiš Jr. was telling the complete truth in the case.

Babiš, on the other hand, asserts that his son is being used by journalists and opposition figures against him. “This is a political process,” he commented today, ending the hearing by saying that “no parent in the world would want to go through what I am right now,” referencing his son’s mental illness being discussed openly in public.

The case has been adjourned until Jan. 4, 2023. Some commentators mention that Babiš Sr.’s presidential bid may be tied to the case; should he become president, he would gain immunity from prosecution. 

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