Final Word from Monday, October 16, 2017

Refusing to testify in court for fear of self-incrimination isn't an admission of guilt, but it raises questions about a person's past behavior. Whenever a prominent person anywhere in the world "takes the Fifth" (as the Americans refer to it), it leads to headlines and scandal. When Ex-Chair Jan Juchelka of the National Property Fund (NPF) did it on Fri. in the OKD case, Czech TV didn't even mention in its evening news that he is CEO of Komerční banka. Whether Juchelka violated the "public behavior" clause of his bank's code of conduct by refusing to testify is up to the supervisory board. It should review his grounds for doing so, just as the the top brass at the public prosecutor's office should. Prosecutors should explain to the public why two mid-level NPF employees are being tried, given that the real OKD decisions were made in 2004 by Bohuslav Sobotka as finance minister. Sobotka was no doubt right in Sept. when he said that the wrong people are on trial. [Czech Republic Television ethical behavior]

Glossary of difficult words

to take/plead the Fifth - to exercise the right guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution of refusing to answer questions in order to avoid incriminating oneself;

to incriminate - to make (someone) appear guilty of a crime or wrongdoing;

top brass - people in authority or of high military rank;

to try - to subject someone to trial.

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