Miroslav Marček, charged with shooting Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová dead in February 2018, has now confessed to the killing, unlike the other three suspects who either pleaded not guilty or declined to comment.
The case is being handled by the Specialized Criminal Court based in Pezinok near Bratislava, which deals with the most serious criminal cases.
The main part of the trial began with reading the indictment where the prosecutor stated that the motive of the crime was revenge after Kuciak reported about the extensive economic crimes of Marian Kočner, who allgedly ordered the murder.
According to the investigators, Kočner’s acquaintance, Alena Zsuzsová, delivered the order to murder the journalist to Zoltán Andruskó. Andruskó then hired former police investigator Tomáš Szabó, who worked with former soldier Miroslav Marček.
Police initially identified Szabó as the murderer, but Marček later confessed it was him who shot Kuciak and his fiancée to death.
All four defendants stood trial at the Specialized Criminal Court. Both them and the prosecutor declined to uphold the previous agreement on guilt and punishment that would reduce the defendants’ punishment in exchange for a confession.
Kočner, Zsuzsová, Marček, and Szabó face 25 years in prison up to life imprisonment.
Kuciak and Kušnírová were murdered in their home in Veľká Mača near Trnava, where the killer waited for them to return home.
“Then Mr. Kuciak and Mrs. Kušnírová returned home together. I waited for a moment for the right opportunity. That arose when Kušnírová went to the bathroom. I knocked on the door. Mr. Kuciak opened the door, and I shot him in the chest. Unfortunately, I saw that there was one more person. [Kušnírová[ ran into the kitchen, I followed her, and then I shot her, too,” said Marček.
He added that he wanted to carry out the murder two days earlier, on Feb. 19, but Kuciak was not alone in the house.
According to Marček, Kuciak was originally supposed to be kidnapped and murdered so that no one could find him. But such a plan was unrealistic.