Slovak Journalist Jan Kuciak Killed - Signs Point to Italian Mafia Hit
The murder of a Slovakian journalist may be linked to organised crime, according to reports.
Jan Kuciak, 27, and his partner Martina Kusnirova were found shot dead in their house in Velka Maca, east of the capital Bratislava, on Sunday evening.
Police were sent to the couple’s home after a concerned family member raised the alarm.
Mr Kuciak, a journalist for news website Aktuality.sk, is said to have been working on a story about possible Italian mafia involvement in fraud linked to European Union subsidies in Slovakia when he was killed.
In an interview with Slovakian daily newspaperSme, Slovak-based Canadian journalist Tom Nicholson said Mr Kuciak had told him shortly before his death that he was working on a story about possible Italian mafia activity in the east of the country.
Mr Nicholson said he was ready to testify, but has not been approached by police yet.
“I’m not sure what caused Jan’s death but I bet my life that this is so,” he said.
Police said the killings were probably linked to Mr Kuciak’s reporting, which also covered tax evasion.
His last story, published on 9 February, focused on suspected tax evasion connected to a Bratislava apartment complex with links to the Slovak government.
In a statement, Slovakia President Andrej Kiska said the perpetrators needed to be found “as soon as possible” to “ensure the safety of all journalists”.