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Former chief of police detained in Slovakia in connection with murder of journalist | News from Germany about Europe | DW


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More than two and a half years after the murder of journalist Jan Kutsiak in Slovakia, several former high-ranking police officers have been detained. During Operation Purge, the NAKA special unit conducted searches on suspicion of organizing a criminal association, the Slovakia’s special prosecutor’s office for organized crime said on Thursday.

Several people are being investigated, the prosecutor said, without giving their names or details of the charges.

Meanwhile, the Slovak media suggest that the operation is related to the murder of Jan Kutsiak, after which several high-ranking police officers were fired. In particular, the Markiza TV channel aired footage showing how the police conduct a search in the house of the former police chief and detain him. Other media outlets have documented the detention of the former head of the anti-corruption unit, the former head of NAKA and other former heads of Slovak law enforcement agencies.

High-profile murder of a Slovak journalist

27-year-old journalist Jan Kutsiak and his fiancée Martina Kushnirova were shot dead in February 2018 at their home 65 kilometers from Bratislava. Kutsiak conducted a journalistic investigation to reveal the connections of the close associates of the then Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico with Italian entrepreneurs who were associated with the mafia. The article was published after his death.

The murder of the journalist triggered a wave of protests in Slovakia, as a result of which the head of the country’s government, two of his assistants, the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the police chief, and the Minister of Culture Marek Madaric, who formally supervised journalists in the country, resigned.

At the end of 2019, a court in Slovakia sentenced Zoltan Andrusko to 15 years in prison, who, according to the prosecution, received an offer from translator Kočner to find a hired killer. In April 2020, former serviceman Miroslav Marcek, who confessed to killing a reporter, was sentenced to 23 years in prison. In September, the court acquitted multimillionaire Marian Kočner for lack of evidence that the businessman had ordered the murder. Kočner was only sentenced to a € 5,000 fine for illegal possession of weapons.

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