In addition to hindering the detection of corruption, the proposed changes would make Slovakia the only state where whistleblowing does not trigger protection unless the government agrees that exposing its own corruption is a ‘necessity’.
PM Fico’s new governing coalition is creating deep unease among Slovakia’s journalists about the future for media freedoms and public service journalism.
Slovakia: Six parties respond positively to RSF’s pre-electoral appeal for protection of journalists
“We hail the commitments of several parties to improve press freedom which create a basis for effective measures to support trustworthy media and fight against disinformation after the election” – RSF
Last summer, the businessman Marian Kočner and his confidante, Alena Zsuzsová, were acquitted of ordering Kuciak’s murder in February 2018. After reviewing new evidence on 15 June 2021, the Supreme Court remanded the case back for a retrial.
Rights groups express disappointment and frustration after a court convicts one of the hitmen in the Ján Kuciak murder trial but acquits the alleged mastermind and intermediary.
Former soldier Miroslav Marček pleaded guilty in court in January, testifying that he shot Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová, on 21 February 2018. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
Press groups welcome the start of the trial of those accused in connection with the murder of Ján Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírova; they call on the authorities to introduce effective measures to prevent violence against journalists in the future.
At his trial, Miroslav Marček testified that he shot Kuciak at the home he and Kušnírová shared. He said that he then killed Kušnírová – apparently unplanned – after she saw his face, chasing her into the kitchen and shooting her in the head.
Businessman Marian Kočner is accused of contracting the assassination, Miroslav Marcek and Tomas Szabo are accused of carrying out the killing, and Alena Zsuzsova is accused of acting as an intermediary.
Those charged are Alena Zsuzsová, Tomáš Szabó, Miroslav Marček and Marian Kočner, a businessman who is accused of ordering the 2018 murder. They all face up to 25 years in prison or a life sentence.
Marian Kočner, currently in detention on unrelated fraud charges, has been charged with ordering the February 2018 killing of Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová.
A delegation from the International Press Institute and the Committee to Protect Journalists met with Slovak authorities in Bratislava, calling on them to expedite charges against all parties allegedly involved in the killing of journalist Ján Kuciak.
One year on from the murder of Ján Kuciak and his partner Martina Kušnírová, lawyers representing the families of the victims are concerned about recent political interventions.
A businessman held since June on suspicion of fraud was close to one of the murder suspects arrested in September; he had also threatened Kuciak previously.