SLOVAKIA: investigative journalist killed at home


(Index on Censorship) A Slovak investigative journalist Jan Kuciak was shot dead at his home.

Journalist Jan Kuciak, who had been reporting on tax fraud among businessmen connected to the country’s ruling party, was shot dead at his home over the weekend, news website Dennik N reported on Monday, citing the Interior Ministry.

According to the Dennik N, the murder took place in the journalist’s house in the village of Veľká Mača 5 km east of the capital Bratislava, some time between February 22 and 25. Kuciak was shot in the chest and his fiancée was shot in the head. Kuciak worked for Slovak news website

Last September, Ján Kuciak filed a complaint against businessman Marian Kočner, for threatening him, informed Kočner was allegedly connected with the bankruptcy of Real Štúdio K.F.A.

Kuciak had also revealed that Ladislav Bašternák was required to repay the Slovak treasury €2 million after a real estate transaction.

Both businessmen are said to be associated with ruling Smer party.

“Already, 44 days have passed since I filed a complaint against MK for threatening me, Kuciak wrote on his Facebook page in the autumn. “And still, my case has probably not even been allocated to a specific officer yet.”

Among his recent investigations there was also a story on the Slovak oil company Petroltrans, which Kuciak alleged was controlled by Ukrainian businessman Mykhailo Olevskyy through an offshore company. Petroltrans has won a major public contract, and has employed the daughter of Slovak financial service’s deputy head.