Final Word from Thursday, October 11, 2012

The police suspect Marek Dalík of attempting to arrange an €18m bribe for the Topolánek government in 2007, but they can't prove involvement by politicians, so they're charging him with attempted fraud. Some people are calling this an Al Capone strategy (he was nailed on tax evasion). We don't mean to be nitpickers, but charging someone with a crime that is very similar to the main one isn't really an Al Capone strategy. They would have to charge Dalík with some entirely separate crime, such as perjury. By sheer coincidence, he told the court yesterday that his family and assets are only in the CR, so he doesn't pose a flight risk. But what about that villa in Tuscany, dear defendant? Aren't you by chance the beneficial owner, even if some foundation is listed on the deed? If we read Para. 346 of the criminal code right, this little fib could send Dalík away for up to three years. And once the state prosecutors hone their skills at tracking down beneficial owners, they can use the same Al Capone strategy to get people linked to DP Praha.[Czech Republic Italy Monte Argentario bribery corruption]

Glossary of difficult words

perjurer - someone who willfully tells an untruth when giving evidence to a court;

to nail someone - (informal) to catch, arrest or convict someone for a deceit or crime;

nitpicker - someone who looks for small or unimportant errors or faults;

sheer - nothing other than; unmitigated;

flight risk - the risk that someone will flee the country to avoid prosecution or incarceration;

beneficial owner - a person who enjoys the benefits of ownership although the title is in another name;

fib - a lie, typically an unimportant one;

to hone - to sharpen;

to get someone on something - (informal) to catch, arrest or convict someone on a charge of illegal activity.


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