Presumed murder mastermind Marian Kočner and intermediary Alena Zsuzsová have been acquitted of charges related to the assassination of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová.
The shocking and unexpected verdict is a devastating blow. It denies full justice for Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová and their families, and sends out the dangerous message that journalists can be murdered in Europe with impunity.
The murders show that the timely prosecution of economic crime is crucial. Kočner is in custody, sentenced last February to 19 years in jail for forging promissory notes worth €69 million. If that conviction had come much sooner, Kočner would have been behind bars and the murders of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová could have been prevented.
The whole truth behind Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová’s murders must be exposed and the mastermind and intermediary must be brought to justice. As long as journalists’ murderers go unpunished, there will be others who will pay with their lives.