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 aktuality.sk, 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 Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • 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 Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Theme: Kuciak murder trial

Read more articles by the topic

Top stories

Foreign medical workers living in Slovakia ready to help with coronavirus crisis

The Health Ministry is looking for a way to engage them. It is one of the ways the government is looking to secure enough health care professionals to walk Slovakia through the crisis.

Illustrative stock photo

Coronavirus in Slovakia: Do I really have to stay at home this Easter? (FAQ)

Questions about stricter limits on people's movement during Easter holidays answered.

PM Igor Matovič announces new measures. He called on pensioners to stay home.

Which places in Bratislava offer drive-through food?

Check out some tips for more than fast food.

Slovakia has two coronavirus victims (news digest)

The government toughens up measures on the movement of people at its April 6 session.

President Zuzana Čaputová met with PM Igor Matovič (r) and Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár (l) on April 6.