I thought I understood what is now being called the “Kořistka Affair” (as opposed to the “ODS-bribery-to-bring-down-the-goverment affair”), but the stories published in the last few days have made me really confused.
On Sunday, ODS mucky-muck Vlastimil TlustÃ½ goes on TV Nova’s Sunday talkshow and says that one of the ODS lobbyists accused of offering bribes to US-DEU MP Zdeněk Kořistka actually bought him a vacation. So that tends to make the bribery charges sound more likely, right?
Then today the state prosecutor stops the prosecution against the two lobbyists who were arrested. But she says the investigation will continue. So that means they don’t have a case, right?
The police have also examined the bank accounts of ODS Chairman Mirek TopolÃ¡nek, as well as the lobbyists’ companies and personal accounts, and have most likely wiretapped TopolÃ¡nek. So they think they’ve got a case, right?
There are four possible readings as I see it.
Maybe the police have been using the original case as a sort of fishing expedition to create a situation where ODS leaders make mistakes – mistakes that would get them into trouble under wiretap. ODS leaders have called these “Grosstapo” tactics.
Maybe the police had a case, but now are confident enough about it going deeper than just the original lobbyists that they can let the little fish go.
Or maybe they don’t have a case, but are and are using this as a partisan way of helping the Social Democrats create doubt about the ODS in the runup to the ho-hum Senate elections in a couple of weeks. That’s the ODS version of things at least.
Then again, the fourth possibility is all of the above: The ODS leaders are guilty, but the police have been drawn into a heavily partisan dispute. Maybe they’re all guilty.
But as with all fishing expeditions, at some point Gross and his representatives in the police and prosecutor’s office will have to fish or cut bait.
My last Gmail invite will go to the reader who can come up with an explanation for all this in the comments.