The most closely watched prisoner in Slovakia, Marian Kočner, spoke publicly for the first time since he was detained last year. He spoke to the court after he was transported for his trial to Bratislava on Sunday night.
Kočner stands accused of ordering the murder of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak (who was shot dead in his house in Veľká Mača together with his fiancée Martina Kušnírová in February 2018). On Monday, September 9, 2019, however, Kočner stood in front of the court for another case: he stands accused of forging promissory notes alongside the former director of the private Markíza TV and former economy minister, Pavol Rusko.
Kočner attended the main session of the court in the promissory notes case, which started shortly after 9 am in the Palace of Justice in Bratislava. He had been transported there from Leopoldov prison the night before, under heavy security measures. Police operatives were working with the information that Marian Kočner might attempt to escape.
The Specialised Criminal Court in Pezinok held the main session for six days between July 22 and 31. In an unprecedented case, Kočner and Rusko stand accused of forging promissory notes, which Kočner used to obtain €69 million from the current owner of Markíza.
Pavol Rusko, who attended the entire first phase of the trial, abstained this time. His lawyer Marek Para submitted his written agreement that the court should proceed in his absence.
The Sme daily has transmitted audio broadcast of the process with Kočner. It is legally possible to do so, but the possibility hasn’t been used so far. Readers were thus able to listen to the entire monologue that Kočner had in front of the court. He spoke in his typical story-telling manner, giving his account of the entire Gamatex scandal, reenacting his dialogues with various figures of the 1990s Slovak business and public life.
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