Investigative journalist shot dead in his home

An investigative journalist working on tax fraud, Jan Kuciak, was shot dead in his home together with his girlfriend on Sunday evening, news website Dennik N reported.

Kuciak, who was only 27, worked for news website reporting on suspected tax fraud by businessmen connected to the country’s ruling party.

He was found dead by police in the house he shared with his girlfriend in in a village 50km from Slovakia’s capital Bratislava.

Kuciak’s last story on 9 February was on suspected tax fraud connected to a luxury apartment complex in Bratislava.

Protests were held last year calling for the resignation of Slovakia’s Interior Minister Robert Kalinak over his links with property developers.

Slovakia has been a member of the EU since 2004. Kuciak is the second journalist killed in the EU in five months, after journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated in Malta on 16 October.

As in Malta, Slovakia’s economy is doing well but citizens say their country fails to defend the rule of law, especially in punishing corruption, according to Reuters.

Reporters Without Borders has “firmly condemned” the murder of the Slovak journalist and his partner and called on the authorities to to bring those responsible to justice. The international organisation has also called for  a full and independent investigation into Caruana Galizia’s assassination.

The International Press Institute, a global network of journalists, editors and media executives defending media freedom, said it was shocked by the double murder in Slovakia calling it, “an unacceptable attack on the media in a democratic nation”.

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