10. října 2016 | News

Karel Randák: O čem psát?

Monday Comment

Difficult to tell where to begin: So many important things have happened in the past two weeks and many of them invite interesting comments. From the vantage point of the Anticorruption Endowment (NFPK) and its mission, it was interesting to watch the sudden ideological about-face, performed by Mr. Blažek, head of the parliamentary commission investigating the reorganization of Czech Police. This righteous character obviously made no attempt to study the GIBS document, also released on the NFPK website. Had he done so, he could not have instantly insinuate to the media, and the general public by their courtesy, that Police President Tuhý had fallen victim to harassment on the part of Plzeň public prosecutors and subversive elements within the police ranks. It clearly follows from the document that the police president, this “uniform hanger”, not only did not shy from lying to GIBS investigators, but indeed also attempted, in spite of incontrovertible evidence, to implicate his underage son and ex-wife in the affair. I cannot think of a more incriminating piece of evidence about Mr. Tuhý’s lack of integrity. It seems, however, that nothing can derail Interior Minister Chovanec, who did not shy away from ripping off texts by a Přelouč high school graduate for his bachelor thesis, from throwing his weight in support of the bemedalled sort of policeman. Indeed birds of a feather flock together.

It is equally intriguing to see how lightheartedly many journalists jumped on the bandwagon offered by the Police Presidency and the Ministry of the Interior. Could anyone expect these highly untrustworthy institutions to act differently? It should be the interest of the press to first ascertain the actual state of affairs and only then to report it to the public. However, modern-day investigative journalism limits itself to conveying the views of one party or the other, without an ambition to assume an impartial attitude for fear of the consequences. Too bad, as such an approach makes one assume that the media act like the lackeys of various power-wielding formations.

On a more optimistic note in conclusion: ex-minister Drábek’s erstwhile deputy Vladimír Šiška was sentenced to six years and a 282 million-crown fine, pending appeal, for manipulating a system of welfare allowance payments at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Of course nobody will ever see his money again, but still, a jail sentence could be a memento for all would-be Šiškas. Even better news is that Prague public prosecutor Dagmar Máchová was detained and accused by the police. This interesting figure was responsible in the past for a series of truly original rulings, clearly inspired by the urge to prosecute selected individuals, while protecting a chosen few from criminal proceedings. It is to be expected that in this particular case, investigators could make surprise revelations, if they are allowed to act properly. Threads lead high and billions of crowns are in the game.

P.S.: Did you know that the Hranice Abyss is the world’s deepest underwater cave in the world? That’s the most interesting thing to write about today.

Karel Randák - member of the NFPK Board of Trustees