Wednesday, February 24, 2021

The third anniversary of the murder of Jan Kuciak. President of Slovakia: Recent arrests confirm the charges


Slovakia’s President Zuzana Czaputova said on the third anniversary of the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak that the recent arrests of representatives of the judiciary, police and prosecution confirmed the suspicions he wrote about.

Jan Kuciak and Martina Kusznirova were shot three years ago in the house where they lived in Veka Macza near Trnava in western Slovakia. The prosecution accused businessman Martin Koczner of ordering the murder, and his friend Alena Zsuzsova of mediating in finding contractors. They were both acquitted for lack of direct evidence of guilt but are serving prison terms in other cases.

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High sentences in the trial for the murder of a journalist were awarded to: the killer and his driver, as well as another intermediary responsible for providing information about who was to be killed. After Koczner and Zsuzsova were acquitted, the prosecution appealed to the Supreme Court, which is analyzing the files, but the date of the case has not yet been determined.

Zuzana Czaputova lays flowers to commemorate Kuciak and KusznirovaEPA / JAKUB GAVLAK

“It’s not enough to have freedom”

Throughout Sunday, flowers were laid in many Slovak cities and lights were lit to commemorate Kuciak and Kusznirová.

President Czaputova laid flowers at the memorial plaque in the center of Bratislava. In her opinion, the suspicions of corruption that the journalist wrote about were real. She expressed the hope that not only the direct murderers would be tried, but also those who ordered the murder. In her opinion, this is the most important trial facing the Slovak judiciary.

Prime Minister Igor Matovicz used the anniversary of Kuciak’s death in social media to evaluate journalists in Slovakia. “It is not enough to have freedom and the right to influence public opinion if the goal is to manipulate people,” wrote the prime minister. He appealed to journalists to “become Janami Kuciaki”.

The epidemic situation forced the organizers of the memory campaign to transfer them to social media. In one of them, organized by people who initiated street protests immediately after Kuciak’s death, the journalist’s father and the mother of Martina murdered with him spoke. They thanked for the remembrance of their children and expressed the hope that justice would eventually triumph.

Main photo source: EPA / JAKUB GAVLAK



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