Suspect paid 70,000 euros for Slovak journalist murder: prosecutor
A female suspect paid tens of thousands of euros for the murder of a Slovak journalist whose death triggered mass protests and toppled a prime minister, a prosecutor said Monday.
Journalist Jan Kuciak, who had been probing ties between politicians and the Italian mafia, was found shot dead with his fiancee at the couple's home near Bratislava in February, plunging the country into crisis.
The woman, named as "Alena Zs., ordered the murder, Tomas Sz. was the one who shot them, Miroslav M. was a driver and Zoltan A. an intermediary," the unnamed prosecutor told reporters in Bratislava.
All four individuals have been detained and charged.
The prosecutor said that Alena Zs. had allegedly paid 50,000 euros ($58,100) and forgiven a 20,000-euro debt in exchange for the murder.
"Only the murder of Jan Kuciak was ordered. His fiancee Martina Kusnirova was an innocent victim who was in the wrong place at the wrong time," the prosecutor added.
Local media said Alena Zs. had worked as an interpreter for Slovak entrepreneur Marian Kocner, whose business activities were the subject of an investigation by Kuciak.
Local media added that Kocner is allegedly the godfather of the 44-year-old woman's daughter.
Asked whether Kocner was suspected to be involved in the crime, prosecutor general Jaromir Ciznar told reporters Monday: "I am not going to tell you this now."