Slovakia has announced a new trial against the business executive alleged to have ordered the murder of Slovak investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova four years ago.
Court spokesperson Katarina Kudjakova confirmed to DPA news agency on Wednesday that a fresh trial against millionaire Marian Kocner and an alleged accomplice will begin on Monday at the Special Court for Organised Crime in Pezinok, east of Bratislava.
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The 27-year-old investigative journalist and his fiancée were shot dead in their home in the village of Velka Maca on February 21, 2018.
Kuciak had been covering the cosy relationship between business and politics in the country. His last report, published posthumously, triggered mass demonstrations that led to the resignation of the government.
The investigation against Kocner, the entrepreneur accused of ordering the hit, revealed the existence of a decades-old network of
corruption. Since then, numerous judges, prosecutors and high-ranking police officials have been arrested.
When Kocner and his alleged accomplice, who is being identified as Alena Zs, were acquitted in September 2020 due to lack of evidence, there was an international outcry.
In June, the country’s supreme court upheld an appeal by the prosecution and overturned the acquittals. The assassin and two
accomplices, alleged to have acted on Kocner’s orders, have already been convicted.
Having been convicted of other crimes in the meantime, Kocner and Zs will remain in prison for years even if the court acquits them of the double murder charge.
According to Kudjakova, the charges in next week’s trial relate not only to the double murder, but also to several other murders
the pair allegedly planned.