Slovak businessman cleared of murder of journalist

Prague, Sep 3 (efe-epa).- A Slovakian tycoon was on Thursday cleared of the murder of an investigative journalist and his partner two years ago.

A court in the country acquitted billionaire businessman Marian Kocner of ordering the killing of Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova, both aged 27, in 2018 due to lack of evidence.

Their murders sparked a wave of protests in the country that had not been seen since the fall of communism in 1989 and forced the resignation of populist prime minister Robert Fico.

Kuciak had researched and written about Kocner’s shady business dealings and the relationship between political power and organized crime.

Slovakia’s state prosecutor has said he will appeal the unexpected not-guilty verdict in the supreme court.

Alena Zsuzsova, who was accused of being an intermediary between Kocner and the killers, was also acquitted.

Kuciak and Kusnirova were shot dead in their home near Bratislava on 21 February 2018.

Tomas Szabo, a former police officer, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for being an accomplice to their murders.

Gunman Miroslav Marcek was previously sentenced to 23 years imprisonment.

Judge Ruzena Sabova said in her ruling: “The crime was committed but it has not been proved that Marian Kocner and Alena Zsuzsova ordered the murder.

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