Slovak businessman Marian Kočner could be the person who ordered the murder of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kušnírová, according to reports in the Slovak media.
This week, four people were arrested in connection to the case. According to Slovak prosecutors, a female suspect, Alena Zs, allegedly paid €70,000 for the assassination of Kuciak. The job was carried out on 21 February by a former police officer, named as Tomas Sz. Slovak officials charged two more suspects, including a driver and an alleged intermediary. All four suspects have been detained and are awaiting trial in jail.
Slovak news server Aktuality.sk reported that one of the four suspects has confirmed that Kočner commissioned the murder to police investigators according to a source close to the investigation.
The controversial Kočner – who previously held companies registered in Malta – threatened Kuciak months before his assassination but Slovak police never investigated these allegations.
Kočner is currently in police custody for alleged financial fraud, but the case is not connected to the murder of journalist and his fiancee.
Kuciak worked for Aktuality.sk on a series of fraud cases, often involving businessmen with ties to Slovakia’s ruling social-democrat party and other politicians.
One of Kuciak’s main investigations centred around Kočner and his involvement in a Bratislava luxury apartment complex that became the center of a political scandal last year.
In September 2017, Kuciak filed a criminal motion against Kočner, for threatening him.
Following Kuciak’s assasination the Slovak police officially confirmed that the motive was the investigative work conducted by the journalist.
The killings triggered a political crisis that resulted in major protests, the resignation of the national police chief and the collapse of the social democrat government led by Robert Fico.
The article was first published on aktuality.sk – the news portal that murdered journalist Jan Kuciak worked for.