Claims Slovakian journalist's killing linked to Italian Mafia

Claims Slovakian journalist's killing linked to Italian Mafia

Organised crime may have been involved in the fatal shooting of an investigative journalist in Slovakia, a Canadian reporter has claimed.

Jan Kuciak, 27, is said to have been working on a story about possible Italian mafia involvement in fraud linked to EU subsidies in eastern Slovakia when he was killed.

The country's newspapers dedicated their front pages to Mr Kuciak, who was found dead alongside his girlfriend Martina Kusnirova at their house in the town of Velka Maca, east of the capital, Bratislava.

Mr Kuciak is the first journalist to be killed in Slovakia. The government is offering a €1m reward (£879,000) to anyone who helps authorities find the people responsible for the shootings on Sunday night.

In an interview with the Sme daily, Slovak-based Canadian journalist Tom Nicholson said Mr Kuciak had told him shortly before his death that he was working on a story about possible Italian mafia activity in the east of the country.

Mr Nicholson said he was ready to testify, but has not been approached by police yet.

The country's police said the slayings were likely linked to Mr Kuciak's reporting, which also covered tax evasion.

"I'm not sure what caused Jan's death but I bet my life that this is so," Mr Nicholson said.

- Press Association and Digital Desk

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