Final Word from Tuesday, April 23, 2019

After Marie Benešová was announced last week as the next justice minister, Supreme State Prosecutor Pavel Zeman launched a campaign to save his job. He said in today's Respekt that he is a "clear guarantee that he will not allow the state prosecution to be politically influenced." What, if not politics, has been the principle guiding the prosecution of the OKD case? Prosecutors have systematically avoided going back to the roots of the privatization. The EU Commission was apparently misled by the finance minister in 2006 about the legality of the transaction, but the prosecutors instead set their sights in asking for long prison sentences on middle-level government officials and an outside valuator. When these small fry were acquitted, the judge said that they weren't the ones making the decisions. Yet no one else has been charged. When Benešová now presses Pavel Zeman to prosecute the real perpetrators, will he declare in Respekt that he's coming under political pressure? [ Czech Republic coal mines Bohuslav Sobotka ]

Glossary of difficult words

small fry - an insignificant people or things;

to acquit - to free (someone) from a criminal charge by a verdict of not guilty;

perpetrator - a person who carries out a harmful, illegal or immoral act.

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