Journalist shot dead in Slovakia working on story about Italian mafia

A journalist shot dead in Slovakia was working on a story about the activities of Italian mafia in his country and their links to people close to Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico.

Journalist shot dead in Slovakia working on story about Italian mafia

A journalist shot dead in Slovakia was working on a story about the activities of Italian mafia in his country and their links to people close to Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico.

Jan Kuciak's Aktuality.sk news website published his last, unfinished story today.

It describes the activities of members of the Italian 'Ndrangheta criminal group in eastern Slovakia, and the business ties between one of them, a senior assistant to Mr Fico and another official close to him.

The bodies of 27-year-old Mr Kuciak and his girlfriend, Martina Kusnirova, were found on Sunday evening in their house in Velka Maca, east of the capital, Bratislava. Mr Kuciak is the first journalist to be killed in Slovakia.

In his story he described, among other details, the activities in agriculture, real estate and other sectors of a Slovakia-based Italian man believed to belong to the criminal group.

He also detailed the man's business ties to Maria Troskova, a former model who is now the chief state adviser at the government office, and Viliam Jasan, who currently serves as the secretary of Slovakia's security council, a body that deals with key security issues.

After the first details of the story appeared in Aktuality.sk and a newspaper, Sme, yesterday, Mr Fico dismissed the reports.

Policemen guard the entrance to offices of news website Aktuality.sk. Pic: Michal Smrcok/News and Media Holding via AP

Policemen guard the entrance to offices of news website Aktuality.sk. Pic: Michal Smrcok/News and Media Holding via AP

"You link innocent people to a double murder without any evidence," the prime minister said. "Don't do it."

The opposition was not impressed and called on national police force president Tibor Gaspar and interior minister Robert Kalinak to resign. It is planning a protest rally in Bratislava for later today.

Students plan to march in honour of Mr Kuciak in a number of Slovakian cities on Friday.

Aktuality.sk said Mr Kuciak co-operated on the story with the Czech Centre for Investigative Journalism, the Investigative Reporting Project Italy and the international Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.

The Czech centre said it had been working with Mr Kuciak for more than 18 months.

PA

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox