Czech police to investigate leading lawmaker's alleged fraud

FILE - In this Wednesday, March 23, 2016 file image, Czech Republic's Finance Minister Andrej Babis gestures prior an extraordinary session of Parliam

PRAGUE (AP) — Police have asked the lower chamber of the Czech Parliament to lift the immunity on former finance minister Andrej Babis over an alleged fraud involving EU subsidies.

Parliamentary speaker Jan Hamacek confirmed the request on Thursday, which comes in the run-up to October's parliamentary elections in which Babis' centrist ANO movement is widely expected to win, paving the way for him to become the country's next prime minister.

Police also asked for the immunity on Babis' ally Jaroslav Faltynek to be lifted too. Neither has been charged and both deny wrongdoing.

If their immunity were lifted, police would be able to investigate their involvement in the alleged fraud. EU authorities have been also investigating.

Earlier this year, Babis was fired as finance minister over unexplained business dealings.