When I realised I’d been wrong about the Cervanová case, I couldn’t sleep

Our failure was that the theory about the innocence of the condemned men was introduced to us by people who had already been their friends.

Martin Hanus is deputy editor-in-chief and commentator of the Conservative Daily Postoj. He started as a journalist in 2002 at Domino Forum, in December 2004 he was one of the journalists who started the .tyzden weekly. He served as its deputy editor-in-chief between 2008-2014. He is married with three children, lives in Bratislava. (Source: Sme)

Martin Hanus is deputy editor-in-chief and commentator of the Conservative Daily Postoj. He started as a journalist in 2002 at Domino Forum, in December 2004 one of the journalists who started the Týždeň weekly. He served as its deputy editor-in-chief between 2008-2014. He is married with three children and lives in Bratislava.

When journalist Martin Hanus found out that his knowledge about the Cervanová case had been incomplete, he started looking at the archives. The things he found were enough to persuade him that he had been wrong all along. He now published a book to share what he found.

Why have you started investigating again, after years when you were convinced that the seven men from Nitra in connection to the Cervanová case were innocent?

MH: When I returned from Italy in 2015, the book by Peter Tóth, Cervanová Case I, was published. I refused to read it at first.

Why?

MH: I felt like it was a closed issue for me. I felt like Tóth, who as a journalist served as a secret service agent and had had contacts, for example, with businessman Marian Kočner, only wants to settle his dues with the media and that it was a biased book. In early 2017, someone gave me the second book by Peter Tóth. I read it. It caught my interest and I started reading the first one. I was devastated. Suddenly I saw that my perception of the story was distorted. That I did not know some important things. For example, the story of Viera Zimáková as I knew it, was completely untrue. I realised that we were probably completely wrong at Týždeň. I started studying the Ľudmila Cervanová case. I got access to the investigation file and my feeling from the book, that it was our huge failure, was confirmed.

How did you feel when you found that everything was the other way around?
MH:
I was shocked. I could not sleep for a several nights.

Why did you need to present your errors in the public?

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