Final Word from Tuesday, May 30, 2017

One of the biggest battles yet between Andrej Babiš and what we call ČSSD a.s. begins today, when the Supreme Court will hear an appeal by the justice ministry against a ruling by Prague Superior Court to deny the wiretaps in the David Rath corruption case. Babiš isn't directly involved, but this is a proxy war that will tell observers much about who is winning the ANO-ČSSD power struggle on the national level. Babiš's LN used circumstantial evidence to suggest that Chair Jaroslav Bureš of Prague Superior Court arranged for the wiretaps to be declared inadmissible after he met for lunch with Radek Pokorný, who is principal lawyer for ČSSD a.s. Editor-in-chief Jaroslav Plesl of LN's sister publication MFD told ČRo Plus three weeks ago that if Rath isn't sent to prison, he will lose faith in the Czech justice system. As we wrote in Dec. when we made Rath our Person of the Year, those in the know say that Rath threatened to become a "rat" about ČSSD's party financing unless he were exonerated. If Bureš's court loses this case, Babiš's publications will start hanging on Rath's every word. [Czech Republic Lidové noviny MF Dnes]

Glossary of difficult words

proxy war - a conflict between two states or non-state actors in which neither entity directly engages with the other;

power struggle - a situation in which two or more people or groups compete for control in a particular sphere;

circumstantial - pointing indirectly towards someone's guilt but not conclusively proving it;

inadmissible - not allowable as evidence in a court of law;

rat - an informant;

to exonerate - (of an official body) to absolve (someone) from blame for a fault or wrongdoing;

to hang on someone's every word - to listen very carefully to what someone is saying.

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