Slovak police detain 7 over slain journalist

03 March, 2018, 00:14 | Author: Courtney Perry
  • Light tributes placed during a silent protest in memory of murdered journalist Jan Kuciak and his girlfriend Martina Kusnirova seen

The bodies of 27-year-old Jan Kuciak and his girlfriend, Martina Kusnirova, were found Sunday evening in their house in Velka Maca, east of the capital, Bratislava.

In it, Kuciak outlines the ties between the group and Maria Troskova, a former model who was chief state adviser at the government office, and Viliam Jasan, who served as the secretary of Slovakia's security council.

Police conducted raids in eastern Slovakia on houses linked to alleged members of the Italian mafia, about whom an investigative journalist was writing before he was shot dead.

"It is obvious that 'Ndrangheta is capable of this", he said.

"It is credible families from Calabria who are behind the murder".

"It shows that the 'Ndrangheta is starting to be afraid of those who want to show a truth that many are struggling to see", he told told Italy's Rai News TV. In his article, Kuciak alleged that Italian businessmen with links to the Calabria-based crime syndicate "Ndrangheta" had settled in eastern Slovakia and spent years embezzling European Union funds, routing the money across the border with Ukraine.

Slovakian media reported that one of the detained was Antonino Vadala, an Italian who did business with at least two officials close to the prime minister, Robert Fico.

On Monday, the Slovak government promised a reward of one million euros for information helping catch the murderers of Kuciak and his girlfriend.

Hundreds of people took part in an anti-corruption protest in Bratislava on Wednesday, and more demonstrations were planned for Friday in Bratislava and other European capital like Prague, London and the Hague.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico right with Minister of Interior Robert Kalinak left after a silent protest march in memory of murdered journalist Jan Kuciak and his girlfriend Martina Kusnirova in Bratislava Slovakia on Wednesday. Investigative jou

Thousands of mostly young Slovaks joined anti-graft rallies previous year demanding the dismissal of senior government and police officials for alleged foot-dragging on fighting graft.

The ultranationalist Slovak National Party is the third member of the coalition.

Kuciak's Aktuality.sk website reported Wednesday that he had been investigating activities by the Italian mafia in Slovakia and possible links to people close to Fico.

The allegations were made in Kuciak's last article, which was published posthumously on Wednesday by his news outlet, aktuality.sk.

Kalinak previously said that Czech and Italian police forces as well Europol have been cooperating with their Slovak counterparts in the investigation.

He, like fellow murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, worked on the Panama Papers scandal.

Kuciak is the first journalist killed in Slovakia.

"This murder will change the atmosphere in Slovakia in a way that there will be much harder pressure on the investigation of serious crimes, on revealing corruption and clientelism, on revealing interconnection of politics and business". Two of those mentioned by Kuciak resigned Tuesday, although they denied any connection to organized crime or the killings.


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