Ján Kuciak murder: Court accepts criminal charges against four suspects

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The Slovak Special Criminal Court accepted criminal charges filed against four suspects in the case of the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancee.

It has been a year and ten months since the murder of Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kušnírová. The Slovak Special Criminal Court made a progress in the case as it accepted criminal charges against entrepreneur Marian Kočner and three other defendants.

The main trial is set to begin on Jan. 13 next year.

None of the four defendants, who face life imprisonment, expressed an interest to plead guilty in exchange for making a deal with the prosecutor.

The fifth accused, Zoltán Andruskó, who cooperated with the police in the investigation, had previously agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with the prosecutor.

“It’s just the beginning. The indictment has been confirmed, trials are about to begin. It will take a long time,” Kuciak’s father, Jozef, told reporters.

Among the defendants is entrepreneur Marian Kočner, who, according to investigators, ordered Kuciak’s murder. Investigative journalist Kuciak wrote about Kočner’s controversial business activities. In 2017, the entrepreneur threatened to find “dirt” on him and his family.

The hearing was set by the Slovak Special Criminal Court, which deals with the most serious criminal cases in the country.

During the hearing, the court examined the indictment and the legality of the evidence obtained.

The parents of the murdered reporter and his girlfriend also came to the preliminary hearing, which was attended by dozens of media representatives and featured strict security measures.

Kuciak’s murder provoked massive anti-government demonstrations in Slovakia and a political crisis that resulted in Robert Fico’s resignation as prime minister.

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