Slovakia on Thursday cleared businessman Marian Kocner and one other over the death of a journalist and his fiancée in 2018.
In a report by Euronews, Judge Ruzena Sabova who was handling the case, acquitted Kocner and his co-defendant Alena Zsuzsova, citing the lack of evidence to convict.
Kocner has been accused of ordering the killings of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancé Martina Kusnirova with the help of Zsuzsova and one more accomplice named Tomas Szabo.
In a separate case, Kocner has already been sentenced to 19 years in prison for forging €69 million worth of promissory notes. He was appealing against the sentence.
It can be learned that journalist Kuciak and Kusnirova were gunned down at their home two years ago, a murder case that rocked the country.
Kuciak was known as an investigative journalist writing about the business dealings of Kocner. He also wrote alleged ties between the Italian mafia and people close to former prime minister Robert Fico when he was killed.
Meanwhile, Szabo was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in the killing as he was proven to be at the murder scene and was driving the getaway vehicle.
The court said Szabo may appeal against the verdict.
Speaking in front of the media, Kusnirova’s mother Zlatica Kusnirova said she hoped the accused will not be released.
“I do not understand the court’s decision, but it’s bad. It seems that justice has not yet begun to reign in Slovakia,” she was quoted as saying.
She added that she would continue to contest the decision at the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Kuciak’s father Jozef, said he hoped that the court would take into account new evidence submitted by the prosecution.
“All that was left was to trust that the truth would eventually prevail,” he was quoted as saying.
In a Facebook post on the same day, Slovakian President Zuzana Caputova said she was shocked over the verdict, but said she respected the decision of the court.
“I respect it, but I expect that justice-seeking is not done and will continue in the Supreme Court,” she said.
“Thinking of the parents of Ján and Martina and wish them a lot of strength in this difficult moment. They and we all deserve to see also being held accountable to those who ordered and mediated the murder of their children,” she added.
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