Following the earlier intensive communication with Italy’s judicial authorities, general prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár has sent them a draft agreement concerning the creation of a joint team for the investigation of the double murder of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová. The Prosecutor General’s Office spokesperson, Andrea Predajňová, specified that the draft agreement was sent via Eurojust on Friday, March 16.
“The Prosecutor General’s Office expects that the joint investigation team will provide a faster and more complex and operative investigation of this concrete criminal deed,” said Predajňová, as cited by the SITA newswire.
Earlier on Monday, Čižnár discussed setting up the joint investigation team with outgoing Justice Minister Lucia Žitňanská (Most-Híd). In practice, creating a joint investigation team and signing an agreement in this regard is time-consuming, as it can usually take several weeks or even months.
“General prosecutor Jaromír Čižnár, in cooperation with Eurojust, has done his best to smooth the way for the assembly and operation of the joint investigation team as soon as possible and to allow foreign judicial authorities to join the ongoing criminal investigation into the murders of Ján Kuciak and his fiancée,” said Predajňová, adding that Italian judicial bodies are currently evaluating the draft agreement.
If the Italian side responds positively to the draft agreement, both sides will hold talks on the details regarding the joint investigation team, such as specifying the joint investigation’s framework, the rights and duties of the joint team members, the duration of the team’s operation as well as the participation of international institutions, including Eurojust and Europol.
Predajňová added that the General Prosecutor’s Office will “keep the public informed about the course and outcomes of the talks with the Italian bodies”.
Investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fianceé Martina Kušnírová were shot dead in their family house in early March by a currently unknown culprit or culprits. For now, any progress in the investigation of the double murder has not been disclosed.
It is assumed that Kuciak’s work uncovering the operation of the Italian mafia in eastern Slovakia and its possible connection to top politicians might have been behind the murder.
20. Mar 2018 at 1:04 | Compiled by Spectator staff