Slovaks remember murdered journalist Ján Kuciak

Slovaks remember murdered journalist Ján Kuciak

The events of the previous months corroborate the suspicions reported by the murdered investigative journalist Ján Kuciak in the past, President Zuzana Čaputová declared on Sunday, when commemorating the legacy of Kuciak and his fianceé Martina Kušnírová and three years since their violent death.

"It has been three years since the tragic event that became an epochal moment in our history. It has been clear since the beginning that their deaths were not random but closely related to the investigative work of Ján Kuciak. Today we know the faces of the perpetrators, but it is of cardinal importance for Slovak justice also to hand down punishments for those who ordered the murders," Čaputová told journalists.

According to Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovič, the only way to serve justice and honour the memory of the couple "would be to end impunity for crimes against journalists and ensure that they can work freely and safely in Slovakia and throughout Europe."

We cannot tolerate the intimidation of those seeking truth, Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár declared to mark the anniversary. He pointed out that there has been a great deal of change in Slovakia in the past three years. "We're increasingly more aware of how important it is for us to preserve democracy and maintain the public trust in elected representatives of the state power," he said.

Prime Minister Igor Matovič praised Ján Kuciak and said that apart from a few exceptions, he perceives Slovak journalists in a critical light. According to Deputy Speaker of Parliament Juraj Šeliga in the current times "demanding a just verdict in the case" is not our only duty. The other is "demanding a self-reflection in the way the country is governed".

On 21st February 2018, Slovak investigative journalist Ján Kuciak was assassinated along with his fiancée Martina Kušnírová in their house in Veľká Mača, south western Slovakia. The murder led to the largest protests in the streets of Slovak towns since the Velvet Revolution in 1989 and resulted in the resignation of the Prime Minister, Interior Minister and the Police Corps President. So far, Miroslav Marček has confessed to the murder, another three people have been found guilty of assisting him, however, no one has been sentenced for ordering the act.

Mojmir Prochazka, Photo: TASR