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Former Slovak Police Officials Arrested In Probe Of Journalist's 2018 Death


A view of the grave of murdered Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak at a cemetery in Stiavnik on February 20, 2019.

Several former Slovak police officials have been arrested in raids carried out over the 2018 murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak.

A spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office on November 5 said a special police unit arrested the men on suspicion of forming a criminal network, but she did not provide further details on their specific links to the case.

The Markiza television channel showed video of a former police chief being arrested during a raid at his residence. Other media showed three other formerly high-ranking police officials being taken into custody.

The anti-graft reporter Kuciak and his fiancee, Martina Kusnirova, both 27, were gunned down in their house outside the capital, Bratislava, in February 2018. The double homicide sparked massive protests that led to the resignation of Prime Minister Robert Fico.

Kuciak had written about the corrupt links between politics and business.

Since the murder, Slovak police have been investigating corrupt networks in the judiciary and law enforcement.

Millionaire Marian Kocner was accused of having commissioned Kuciak's murder. Authorities allege he bribed and blackmailed judges and prosecutors in efforts to buy acquittals in his numerous fraud scandals.

However, on September 3, Kocner was acquitted of the charge of having ordered Kuciak's murder.

Among his journalistic endeavors, Kuciak had reported on Kocner's activities.

At the time, the International Press Institute (IPI) called the verdict “a major setback for justice and the fight against impunity.”

The court did, however, convict Tomas Szabo, who drove the getaway vehicle, of murder and sentenced him to 25 years in prison for his role in the crime.

Based on reporting by dpa and AFP
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