Final Word from Thursday, November 19, 2015

As Czechs were debating whether terrorists are being smuggled into Europe among the ranks of refugees, the Arbitration Court tried to smuggle in a ruling on the eve of a holiday that redefines how far crooked lawyers are willing to go to cheat the state. According to the Court, Czech Railways must pay Kč 1.2bn to Škoda Transportation, although Škoda is the one that delivered faulty locomotives five years late. This is unprecedented audacity. The two arbiters for the majority have clear conflicts of interest. Jakub Chytil is linked to Škoda's lawyer, Radek Pokorný, and Milan Polák is partner in Weinhold Legal, which is now part of EY, which in turn supplied valuations to Škoda. When Transport Minister Dan Ťok speaks of "tunneling," these two lawyers hold the ultimate responsibility. The public didn't take much notice of them, but professionally they will always be branded as the ones who helped Pokorný tunnel the railroad. [Czech Republic Chamber of Commerce České dráhy]

Glossary of difficult words

to tunnel - a Czech expression for asset-stripping;

ranks - the people belonging to or constituting a group or class;

faulty - working badly or unreliably because of imperfections;

audacity - boldness;

to brand - to describe (someone or something) as something bad or shameful; to mark (an animal, formerly a criminal or slave) with a branding iron.

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