26 Feb 2018

Slovak investigative journalist and his fiancee brutally murdered

27-year-old Slovak reporter Ján Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kušnírová were found dead late on Sunday evening. Police officials say the murders appears to be linked to Kuciak's extensive investigations of tax fraud and corruption. 

Ria Gehrerová
Ria Gehrerová Denník N, Slovakia
Source: Denník N
Slovak investigative journalist and his fiancee brutally murdered - NewsMavens

Why this story matters:

The abrupt end of Kuciak's promising career has jolted all of Slovakia. It is no secret that Slovak politicians are generally hostile towards journalists, and that the police tend to turn a blind eye to shady political dealings. But not a single Slovak believed that reporters could find themselves in mortal danger over a story -- the country ranks in the top 20 of the World Press Freedom Index.

It had been 28 years since Slovakia had experienced the murder of a journalist. Not even in the era of autocratic leader Vladimír Mečiar were journalists assasinated. There were some instances of battery and car bombs, yet no reporter was killed. 

But in 2018, two lives were taken in a senseless attempt to cover up underhanded greed. 

media, violence, scandal

Details from the story:

  • Ján Kuciak was shot in the chest. His partner, Martina Kušnírová, was killed with a blow to the head. 
  • Kuciak worked for Aktuality.sk. He was investigating several high-profile individuals suspected of tax fraud, like businessman Ladislav Bašternák, a friend of many top politicians of ruling party Smer, and businessman Marián Kočner, who is known to have threatened Kuciak.
  • Kuciak had filed a criminal motion against Kočner in September 2017 because of the threats he received.
  • People all around Slovakia are changing their profile pictures to a black square to honor the two victims.

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 https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy