Controversial businessman taken into custody

Businessman Marián Kočner, a symbol of corruption and arrogance for many Slovaks, was implicated in several fraud scandals. Few believed that he would ever wind up in court, but now he has.

Ria Gehrerová
Ria Gehrerová Denník N, Slovakia
Source: Denník N
Controversial businessman taken into custody - NewsMavens
Marián Kočner, Facebook

Why this story matters:

After protests against corruption and the change of government in past months, Slovaks are on the lookout for improvements in national politics. One such positive step is the arrest of the well-connected businessman Marián Kočner, who was remanded in custody last week on the suspicion of falsifying promissory notes worth 69 million euros.

When he was detained by the court and escorted to prison in front of journalists, it was a shock for many -- most Slovaks assumed that his ties to powerful elites would protect him from ever being held accountable for his crimes.

Since the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak, and the unsuccessful ongoing police investigation, Slovakia has struggled with a government seemingly soft on justice but strong in self-interest. But popular unrest has kept attention focused on corruption and social issues. So, although the outcome of this trial is far from settled, Kočner's presence in the courtroom raises hopes that the word "justice" still means something in Slovakia. 

Details from the story:

  • "Truth, courage and decency have won. It’s a message for all decent people that justice exists and everyone’s time will come," said prosecutor of the Special Prosecutor's Office Ján Šanta.
  • The Prosecutor asked for Kočner's custody because he was concerned that he would commit another crime.
  • Kočner threatened many journalists in the past, one of them was the murdered journalist Ján Kuciak, who filed a complaint against him.
inbox_large_illu Created with Sketch.
Tired of the news media’s prevailing male perspective? We are too.

Get our newsletters composed exclusively by female journalists from all over Europe.


Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at