Decoded messages, new promissory note and missing witness

Five things the trial with Rusko and Kočner has brought so far.

Pavol Rusko in court. Pavol Rusko in court. (Source: Sme - Jozef Jakubčo)

The initial sessions of the trial that might land Marian Kočner, the man also facing charges of ordering the murder of Ján Kuciak, in prison, are over. This is what has happened during the trial so far.

The Specialised Criminal Court in Pezinok held the main session for six days between July 22 and 31. The unprecedented case the court is handling involves Kočner and former economy minister as well as former owner of private TV channel Markíza, Pavol Rusko.

The two men stand accused of forging promissory notes, which Kočner used to obtain €69 million from the current owner of Markíza.

>>> What is the promissory notes case all about? Read more in an article by Adam Valček

Kočner did not appear in court in person, citing security and privacy concerns as the argument to why he abstained. During the trial, his lawyer suggested that he is ready to testify. As a consequence, the court ruled to hold the next set of sessions, scheduled for September 9 and 10, in the Bratislava prison. According to the Sme daily, this is because the police worry that Kočner, who has been detained for over a year now, might try to escape or someone might try to assassinate him.

“Terrible amounts of mud will wash away, but it might have a purifying effect.”

Daniel Lipšic, attorney representing TV Markíza against Rusko and Kočner

1. Fifth note appeared

Prosecutor Ján Šanta, who oversees the case, brought up the first surprise of the trial on the very first day, July 22. After Rusko told the prosecutor during questioning that he did not think there were more than four promissory notes, Šanta pulled out a copy of another promissory note. He said it was a new note, not one of the four known ones brought out by Kočner in 2016.

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