Zoltán Andruskó, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for mediating the murder of Slovak investigative journalist Ján Kuciak, confirmed to the Special Criminal Court that he was an intermediary between three of the four people charged in the murder case.
Last December, Andruskó was sentenced to 15 years in prison in a separate court hearing after cooperating with the police and concluding an agreement on guilt and punishment with the prosecutor.
According to the indictment, Kuciak’s murder was ordered by entrepreneur Marian Kočner, who wanted to stop Kuciak from reporting on Kočner’s extensive economic crimes.
Alena Zsuzsová, an acquaintance of Kočner, allegedly ordered the journalist’s murder, hiring former police investigator Tomáš Szabó, who worked with former soldier Miroslav Marček. It was Marček who admitted on Monday that he had shot Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnířová as his cousin Szabó served as a driver to and from the location of the murder.
“I mediated the murder of Ján Kuciak, which was ordered by Mr. Kočner, between Alena Zsuzsová and Mr. Szabó,” said Andruskó, who is a key witness of the prosecution.
He added that Zsuzsová was furious when she learned that in addition to Kuciak, Kušnírová had been shot too. According to Andruskó, Zsuzsová told him that the murder was ordered by Kočner.
Andruskó also said that Zsuzsová showed him pictures of the journalist, his house, and his car on a computer. He added that Zsuzsová wanted Kuciak to disappear and his body not to be found.
Marček, who testified on Monday, also stated that the aim was to make Kuciak disappear. Szabó, on the other hand, claimed that the order was about beating the journalist.
Andruskó also confirmed that, as a reward, Zsuzsová forgave him a debt of €20,000, and paid him additional €50,000. Later, she paid him another unspecified amount. Andruskó said that he did not recalculate this last payment, estimating it to be about €10,000 to €20,000, as he forwarded the money to Szabó.
During the court hearing, Andruskó also claimed that Zsuzsová had assured him of Kočner’s contacts with high-profile politicians of the biggest Slovak party, Direction-Social Democracy (SMER-SD), including former Prime Minister Robert Fico and former Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák, as well as the former Slovak police chief.
Fico has previously denied any contact with Kočner.