Jan Kuciak: Slovak man charged over double murder

A table, covered in white linen, supports more than a dozen red candles alongside the two photos of Jan Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kusnirova
Image caption The murder of Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova convulsed Slovak society

Slovak prosecutors have charged a Slovak businessman with ordering the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée last year – a case that triggered mass protests.

Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova, both aged 27, were shot dead in February 2018.

Slovak police confirmed the charge on Facebook, without naming the suspect. The protests last year prompted Prime Minister Robert Fico to resign.

Four others were charged by investigators last year.

The man charged now has been named by Slovak media as businessman Marian Kocner, who is in custody.

Kuciak wrote about corrupt Slovak businessmen, EU subsidy and VAT fraud, and Italy’s notorious ‘Ndrangheta mafia and its attempts to cultivate ties with Slovak politicians.

“On 8 March the prosecutor’s office formally charged Marian K for having ordered the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak,” a prosecutor said.

Kuciak and Kusnirova were shot dead at their home in Velka Maca, a village 65km (40 miles) east of the capital Bratislava.

“The reason for the murder was the journalistic work of the victim (Kuciak),” the prosecutor was quoted as saying.

“We don’t have a weapon, but we have evidence of the weapon and ammunition,” he added.

He did not rule out that more individuals could be accused of involvement in the murder.


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