Czech PM fined for recruiting alleged communist

A local municipality office in Prague has fined Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka for proposing an alleged communist era secret-police agent as finance minister without checking on his past.

The prime minister said Wednesday that the office ruled he committed a misdemeanor when he proposed businessman Andrej Babis as finance minister without requesting proof he hadn't worked for the secret police.

In the Czech Republic, local municipality offices can hand out fines for less serious offenses, such as traffic rules or public order violations. The country's law bars former communist agents and collaborators from some public offices, but not specifically from government posts.

Babis denies ever being an agent and is currently suing a Slovak institute which claims it has evidence he was.

Sobotka said he would appeal the ruling.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)