Police launch investigation into blackmailing of a journalist

An investigative reporter for Sme Daily, who focused on the dubious transfer of the Technopol company, was threatened by Marián Kočner.

Marian KočnerMarian Kočner (Source: TASR)

At the end of June, the police launched a criminal investigation over suspicions of blackmail against the Sme daily’s reporter Adam Valček who was allegedly threatened by Marián Kočner, a controversial entrepreneur who is already facing prosecution for counterfeiting promissory notes.

“I can confirm that as of June 28, an investigator of the National Criminal Agency (NAKA) initiated a criminal investigation into suspicions of blackmail” Police Corps Presidium spokesman Michal Slivka told the TASR newswire on July 10. “Due to pending processes, it isn't possible to provide more detailed information at this stage.”

On June 1, the police announced that NAKA was investigating threats made against Valček by Kočner.

Strange methods of communication

Earlier this year, Sme reported that Kočner was attempting to intimidate its investigative reporter Valček, who – along with the Trend magazine’s journalist Zuzana Petková – was collaborating on a news story about the Technopol scandal in which Kočner supposedly acquired half a million euros. The shady businessman also made threats to murdered journalist Ján Kuciak regarding the same case.

Read also:Kočner taken into custody, Rusko released Read more 

Instead of answering Valček’s questions, the controversial entrepreneur suspected of VAT tax fraud sent back questions concerning the personal life of Valček for what he claimed was his upcoming website about journalists. Many of the questions were health and family-related, and the information could not have been acquired from open sources, Sme stressed.

By his actions, Kočner intimated his efforts to collect private health and family-related information about the reporter and threatened to publish them, which can be viewed as an attempt at intimidation, Sme's editor-in-chief Beáta Balogová said. “This constitutes an attack on the freedom of the press,” she declared.

Sins past and current

Last year, Kuciak wrote that the property of the Bratislava-based company Technopol worth €20 million ended up in the hands of people close to Kočner under dubious circumstances.

Read also:Half of the money from “stolen” Technopol went to Kočner’s account Read more 

Sme and Trend reported that shortly after its hostile takeover, Technopol paid half a million euros into Kočner’s private account. The case is being investigated by the police. In his response, Kočner told Pravda daily that linking his name to Technopol is nothing but “schizophrenic fabrication.”

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Theme: Vražda novinára Jána Kuciaka

Read more articles by the topic
This article is also related to other trending topics
Marian Kočner, Ján Kuciak

Top stories

Sulík’s party benefits from the dispute with PM Matovič

The Hlas party of former PM Pellegrini is rising, too.

Economy Minister Richard Sulík (l) was charged by PM Igor Matovič (r) to purchase millions of antigen tests.

Investors pursued projects and transactions despite the virus

Investors pursued projects and transactions despite the virus. Check out the 2020 investment highlights from Slovakia.

The visualisation of new Istropolis building

Better times ahead for the Calvary in Bratislava

The last preserved station was restored this summer.

The last preserved station of the Stations of the Cross in Bratislava