The lead suspect in the case of the murders of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kusnirova has told investigators that the killing was ordered by a Russian citizen, according to the Slovak TV station JoJ.
Miroslav Marcek, a former soldier who confessed to shooting dead Kuciak and Kusnirova in their home in February 2018, told police that he was contracted by a middle man named Zoltan Andrusko who told Marcek that the hit had been ordered by an acquaintance of his in Russia.
In March, Slovak police announced that they were investigating Slovak businessman Marian Kocner for order the slaying of Kuciak and Kusnirova, with reports circulating that he had paid 70,00 euros to have it carried out.
The last article published by Jan Kuciak in February was about Kocner’s alleged involvement in a tax evasion scandal linked to a luxury apartment complex in Bratislava. Kocner was later found guilty of tax fraud and sentenced to prison in June.
The double murder led to a political crisis in the country after it emerged that he was investigating a complex Slovak network of the ‘Ndrangheta, the Calabrian mafia, with links to two advisers to the then prime minister, Robert Fico.
It also led to the dismissal of the head of the national police and the collapse of the government, with the former Prime Minister Robert Fico and Interior Minister Robert Kalinak both resigning amid popular anger of their handling of the case.
This climate of indignation led to the victory of lawyer Zuzana Caputova, a political newcomer who campaigned on an anticorruption ticket, in Slovakia’s presidential elections in March.