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Jakarta Post

Fourth person charged in Slovak journalist's murder

  • News Desk

    Agence France-Presse

Bratislava, Slovakia   /   Mon, October 1, 2018   /   09:09 am
Fourth person charged in Slovak journalist's murder Police escorts Miroslav M, a suspect charged of premeditated murder of Slovak investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kusnirova after the hearing of Specialised Criminal Court in Banska Bystrica, on September 30, 2018. Slovak police detained several people suspected of involvement in the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak months after the reporter's violent death and his exposure of alleged high-level corruption sent shockwaves through the country. Kuciak, who had been probing ties between politicians and the Italian mafia, was found shot dead with his fiancee at the couple's home near Bratislava in February, plunging the country into crisis and sparking mass demonstrations. VLADIMIR SIMICEK / AFP (AFP/Vladimir Simicek)

A 44-year-old woman was charged in the murder of a Slovak journalist, the prosecutor's office said Sunday in a case that sent thousands into the streets and toppled a prime minister.

"We can confirm that a woman identified as A. Z. was charged with the extremely serious crime of complicity in a murder," prosecutor spokeswoman Andrea Predajnova said in a statement.

The Slovak daily Dennik N wrote Sunday the woman, who is the fourth suspect arrested, had "ordered" the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kusnirova in February.

But Daniel Lipsic, a lawyer for the Kuciak family, said the woman was more of an intermediary because "the murderer absolutely could not know who ordered the crime."

Local media said the woman had worked as an interpreter for Slovak entrepreneur Marian Kocner, whose business activities were the subject of an investigation by Kuciak.

He was probing alleged links between Italian organised crime and Slovak politicians when he and Kusnirova were murdered at their home.

The killing raised concerns about media freedom and corruption in the EU member state of 5.4 million people and sparked protests that culminated in the resignation of prime minister Robert Fico in March.