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Slovakia court acquits businessman accused 2018 journalist murder

by Derek Andrews
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The Specialised Felony Court docket in Pezinok, Slovakia ruled on Friday that businessman Marian Kočner was not responsible of the 2018 murders of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kusinrova. The court docket dominated, nevertheless, that Alena Zsuzsová–an affiliate of Kočner–was responsible and sentenced him to 25 years jail.

The Worldwide Press Institute (IPI) reported live from the court docket, and acknowledged that prosecutors requested life imprisonment for each Kočner and Zsuzsová. Each had been already imprisoned for various crimes previous to Friday’s verdict.

A number of worldwide media organizations expressedtheirdisappointment with Friday’s verdict and urged Slovak prosecutors to proceed to search out justice for Kuciak and his household. Organizations such because the Committee to Defend Journalists (CPJ), IPI and Reporters With out Borders (RSF) issued a joint statement condemning the decision. In it, the organizations wrote:

This repeated failure to safe the conviction of the suspected mastermind is one other damaging setback within the battle in opposition to impunity for the homicide of journalists in Slovakia, and in Europe. This case follows an all-too-common sample during which the hitmen and facilitators concerned in such crimes are put behind bars whereas the suspected masterminds who ordered the homicide evade justice…Those that order the killing of a journalist can’t be allowed to behave with impunity. The battle for justice will proceed.

Earlier than his dying, Kuciak wrote 9 tales about Kočner. In line with prosecutors, Kuciak was threatened after publishing a narrative about Kočner’s enterprise dealings. Shortly thereafter, in 2018, Kuciak was fatally shot within the chest and Kusinrova was shot within the head at their residence in Bratislava, Slovakia. Their murders sparked protests within the nation. Kočner first appeared earlier than the Specialised Felony Court docket in 2020, however the court docket discovered there was inadequate proof for a conviction.

Source / Picture: jurist.org

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