Final Word from Thursday, July 26, 2018

Does the OKD investigative commission truly want to uncover anything, or is it just a show trial? Strangely, the commission has not asked Jiří Paroubek to testify. He was the PM in Jan. 2006, when the finance minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, sent a letter on his own letterhead to Brussels assuring the EU Commission that the privatization was entirely legal. The text of the letter was drafted by Sobotka's dear friend, lawyer Radek Pokorný, who was working for the owner of OKD, Zdeněk Bakala. Yet the parliamentary commission doesn't want to ask Paroubek what he knew at the time about Pokorný's double role. It's a key question. Paroubek began criticizing the OKD privatization even before he became PM in 2005 and has never stopped. He said earlier this month that he wouldn't be surprised if the hearings led to criminal charges against Sobotka and Pokorný. For something so drastic to happen, the commission would need to make a real effort to get to the bottom of OKD. [Czech Republic ČSSD Karbon Invest NWR parliamentary privatization]

Glossary of difficult words

show trial - a judicial trial held in public with the intention of influencing or satisfying public opinion, rather than of ensuring justice;

letterhead - stationery with a printed heading;

to get to the bottom of - to find an explanation for (a mystery).


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