Ex-soldier ‘admits’ to Slovak journalist murder 

Ex-soldier ‘admits’ to Slovak journalist murder 

A former Slovak soldier Miroslav Marcek has confessed to the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova, according to TA3 TV.

Marcek and three others, all in custody, have been charged over the killings. 

The couple were killed in February last year in their apartment in Velka Maca, a village 65km east of the capital, Bratislava. 

Tvnoviny.sk said Marcek confessed to shooting the couple. He is believed to have driven the other suspects.

The murders led to the resignation of prime minister Robert Fico and interior minister Robert Kalinak.

Police divers are purportedly searching in a Slovak river for weapons or other evidence.

The killings of the two 27-year-olds were believed to have been in response to Kuciak’s last article for Aktuality.sk on alleged tax fraud at the Five Star Residence in Bratislava and the activities of tycoon Marian Kocner and his links to the ruling political Smer party.

Kuciak had been investigating alleged ties between Slovak business community, politicians and Italy’s ‘Ndrangheta mafia, including corruption surrounding European Union farm subsidies.

Prosecutors have charged Kocner with ordering the murder of Kuciak.

The Special Prosecutor’s Office refused to comment on an ongoing investigation.

Two other Slovak journalists have gone missing since the fall of communism: Pavol Rypal in 2008 and Miroslav Pejko in 2015.

The public anger propelled anti-corruption liberal lawyer Zuzana Caputova, a political outsider, to victory in Slovakia’s presidential election in late March.

“A constructive tone and more positive emotions – and not working with fear or threats; these are far more effective, and hold out much more hope,” Caputova told the BBC this week.

Caputova’s successful presidential campaign was based around the backlash to the double murder.

Her speeches use the words like “truth”, “tolerance” and “compassion”, which was unusual in the conservative, largely Catholic former communist state.

“I think the main theme of this election was justice, fairness, equality. If I feel that a particular minority is the victim of hate, then my obligation is to speak out about it and defend them,” she said.

She was diplomatic about her fellow leaders in an illiberal region: ”Well, [her campaign] was primarily a message to people and voters inside my own country.”

 

The murder site in Velka Maca. Picture credit: Wikimedia 

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