Final Word from Monday, March 21, 2016



It's no secret that the legal concept of a trust fund (svěřenský fond) was introduced into Czech law in part so that people with stolen assets could hide behind this type of institution. The standard use of trusts, namely to separate the ownership of assets from the management of them, wasn't the main consideration, so the rules are vague in this respect. The beneficiary can continue to exercise management control without fear of going to prison. This takes on added significance if the beneficiary is an acting minister. Andrej Babiš says that transferring Agrofert to a trust fund wouldn't change anything, because he's not running it anyway. He merely sees the monthly financials, and that's it. Yet his fellow deputy PM, Pavel Bělobrádek, claims that Babiš continues to run Agrofert by SMS. For ČSSD's amendment to the conflict-of-interest law to have any teeth, it must also make it a clear crime for a politician to run his trust fund vicariously. [Czech Republic trustee vice KDU-ČSL ANO]

Glossary of difficult words

trust/trust fund - a relationship or institution whereby property is held by one party for the benefit of another;

beneficiary - a person who derives advantage from something, esp. a trust, will, or life insurance policy;

financials - financial statements of a company, such as income statements, balance sheets, statements of cash flow;

vicariously - acting or done for or by another.

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