Slovak Businessman Marian Kocner’s Acquitted of ordering the murder of an investigative journalist

 Slovakian businessman Marian Kocner was acquitted of charges that he had paid more than 80,000 dollars to confirm the murder of Kuciak and his wife Kusnirova. Meanwhile, Miroslav Marsek, who pleaded guilty to the murder of Mr. Kuciak and Mrs. Kusnirova, has been charged with 23 years in jail; his accomplice Tomas Szabo has also been charged with murder and will partake in jail-time as well. 

The accomplices of Miroslav Marcek, Alena Zsuzsova, and Tomas Szabo may not be the only ones who will face potential jail time, though. Prior to his murder, Kuciak reported that Kocner engaged in illegal money laundering  and used blackmail to remain a prominent business figure in Slovakia, . In addition, a transcript of a phone call involving Kocner may turn against him in the court of law.

In addition, a transcript of a phone call involving Kocner may turn against him in the court of law. The transcription suggests  that Mr. Kocner was plotting to murder Kuciak for the journalist’s investigations: ‘“You can be sure that I will start paying special attention to you personally, Mr. Kuciak,”.

Along with Mr. Kocner, Minister Robert Fico, leader of the Social Democrat Party, was replaced by Andrej Kiska. Though Mr. Kiska rose to power followingunprecedented unpopularity for the Social Democrat Party, Kiska has led an anti-corruption campaign within Slovakia following the murder of Kuciak. Following these events comes with the 15-year sentence on Mr. Fico along with his accomplishes.

The decision to acquit Mr. Kocner of murder has sparked protests across Slovakia, whose citizens have looked unfavorably upon the acquittal. Both the President and the Prime Minister of Slovakia have spoken out, with the President elaborating about the murder of Mr. Kocner. It remains to be discovered how strongly the murder of Jan Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova “will influence the political and judicial landscape of Slovakia.”

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