Slovak investigators examine threats against slain reporter
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia — Slovak authorities have renewed their investigation into threats by a businessman against an investigative journalist who was shot dead last week with his fiancee, the country’s prosecutor general said Sunday.
The bodies of 27-year-old Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova were found Feb. 25 in their house.
Last year, Kuciak alleged that the businessman, Marian Kocner, threatened him following the publication of a story about him. The reporter said he filed a complaint with police and alleged they failed to act.
Kocner denied any wrongdoing.
During a debate on the TA3 news television, Prosecutor General Jaromir Ciznar acknowledged the previous complaint and said investigators will re-examine the threats. He added, however, that he personally didn’t believe this case had anything to do with Kuciak’s death.
In his last unfinished story, Kuciak reported on the influence of the Italian mafia in Slovakia and its possible ties to people close to Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico.
Ciznar said Italian experts will likely join the local investigative team working on the case. The Slovaks previously have said the FBI, Britain’s Scotland Yard, Europol and police forces from Italy and the Czech Republic are helping Slovak police with the investigation. A former Italian prosecutor has said Italy tried to warn Slovakia about the increased influence of the Italian mafia in Slovakia.
President Andrej Kiska, Fico’s rival, was to address the nation in a highly anticipated televised speech Sunday evening amid the growing tensions over the slayings in Slovakia’s ruling coalition led by Fico.
A junior party in the coalition has joined the opposition’s call for the resignation of Interior Minister Robert Kalinak, Fico’s close ally in their leftist Smer-Social Democracy party.
Kalinak refused to do so Saturday and the leadership of the junior Most-Hid party will meet March 15 to discuss the future of the coalition.
Fico and Andrej Danko, the chairman of the ultranationalist Slovak National Party, the third member of the coalition, are also both scheduled to give televised speeches Sunday evening after the president.
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