From star journalist to Kočner's friend: Who is Peter Tóth?

The man who followed journalists for Kočner is a key witness in the Kuciak murder trial.

Peter Toth as a witness in court on January 15, 2020. Peter Toth as a witness in court on January 15, 2020. (Source: Sme)

“If his story ended in 1998, today he would be a journalistic icon,” wrote Marek Vagovič, head of the investigative department of, back in 2014 about Peter Tóth.

How did Peter Tóth go from a star journalist to the closest collaborator of a man who stands accused of ordering a murder of a journalist? And when and why did he turn against Marian Kočner, who called him "bro" in their messages?

>>> Read more about Kuciak murder trial

Related articleHow the Kuciak case changed Slovakia (overview) Read more 

Tóth started his journalistic career in his twenties in the now non-existing Slovenský Denník, then moved on to the Sme daily. The first big story he dealt with was the abduction of Michal Kováč Jr., the then-president’s son. Even though this case was never investigated to its end, hints lead to a quarrel between president Michal Kováč and then-PM Vladimír Mečiar. Mečiar wanted to discredit Kováč, so he chose to abduct his son because there was an international arrest warrant issued on his person.

At that time, Peter Tóth was 24 years old and soon became a star. He was brave enough to write texts about the secret service and the politicians in the Mečiar era, when some older, more experienced journalists did not have the courage to do so.

Secret service links

The rest of this article is premium content at
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on and

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Theme: Kuciak murder trial

Read more articles by the topic

Top stories

Economic restart after COVID-19 should be green

Slovakia’s plan for using money from the EU’s Recovery Fund, innovation potential and examples of green solutions and the challenge of renovating buildings are among the highlights of the latest Business Focus.

The Velux plant in Partizánske utilises 97 percent of waste from production.

Cabinet agrees on COVID screening

More details will be presented tomorrow.


More tips for outings in Bratislava during the lockdown

Walks along the Danube bank offer a feeling of being far from the city rush.

This place, part of Ovsištské Lúky (Ovsište Meadows) in Petržalka, is still Bratislava.

Roundup: Fairytale app that makes children read

An award-winning design by a Slovak architect and a trip to Zádielska dolina valley. Here’s your latest roundup.

A man wearing a face covering sits in an armchair on the snow-covered Main Street in Košice on January 13, 2021.