Slovak authorities have named businessman Marian Kocner as the suspect charged with for ordering the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak, more than a year ago.
“The journalistic work of the victim was the reason for the murder. The investigator bases his accusation on objective evidence that can not be disclosed at the moment,” said the prosecutor. Four other people involved in the murder were indicted last year, including a former interpreter for 55-year-old billionaire Kocner.
Jan Kuciak, who worked for the news website Aktuality.s , and his partner Martina Kusnirova were killed at home in February 2018. The journalist was preparing to release a report on the alleged links between Slovak politicians and the Italian mafia as well as fraud involving European agricultural funds.
The murder of the journalist and his posthumous report provoked street demonstrations throughout Slovakia and pushed former prime minister Robert Fico to resign on March 12, 2018. He was replaced by Peter Pellegrini.
In his articles, Jan Kuciak also dealt with cases involving Marian Kocner. Peter Bardy, his former editor, revealed in 2017 that Kocner had called the latter to threaten him. Kocner, who owns several companies, was arrested in June 2018 on suspicion of fraud. He remains in detention without being formally charged. According to several media reports, he had links with members of the ruling Social Democrats SMER-SD party, of which Robert Fico remains president.
Some thirty thousand people marched in Bratislava in February and thousands more in thirty-six other towns and villages in Slovakia to mark the first anniversary of this double murder.