Investigative reporter finds a bullet in his mailbox

The Slovak journalist has been working on the team that Kuciak was part of before he was killed.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: SITA/Police SR)

An investigative reporter, who is a member of the editorial team that Ján Kuciak worked for before he was killed, found a bullet in the mailbox at his home on Thursday (June 25) morning.

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

The journalist who works for the Aktuality.sk news website, Peter Sabo, has previously written about the underworld in the western-Slovak town of Sereď, scandals linked to former justice minister Gábor Gál, the VAT fraudsters from southern Slovakia and the recently publicised Dobytkár (Stock Farmer) police action that saw some prominent figures land in custody on corruption charges and the murky circumstances of the Mochovce nuclear power plant completion.

They will not threaten us, says journalist

Aktuality.sk Editor-in-Chief, Peter Bárdy, who wrote about the bullet in the mailbox in his editorial on June 26, also noted that Sabo joined the editorial team after the murder of Kuciak and has developed into a skilled data analyst. He also works with the materials from the so-called Kočner Library."There are enough reasons for us to worry that the bullet in his mailbox might not have been just a prank by the local kids," Bárdy wrote in his editorial.

Related articleKuciak murder investigation: A timeline Read more 

He has informed the interior minister and the police corps president about the incident and the editorial team has taken steps, in cooperation with the police, to protect the journalist. Sabo has meanwhile given a statement to the police as well.

"They will not threaten us. They will not threaten Peter Sabo, nor anyone else in our editorial team. Nor many of our colleagues in other editorials," Bárdy wrote.

IPI calls for measures to keep the reporter safe

The International Press Institute has welcomed the prompt investigation opened by the Slovak police and urged them "to work tirelessly to identify those responsible".

Related articleSix people involved in the surveillance of journalists, Kočner paid thousands Read more 

“Authorities must also ensure that necessary measures are put in place to protect Sabo’s safety,” IPI Deputy Director Scott Griffen said. “This kind of intimidation must be taken seriously. Threats against Aktuality journalists were not properly investigated in the past, with tragic consequences. Slovak authorities should not make the same mistake again.”

In a disconnected development, the Slovak police detained and subsequently placed in custody former police officer Pavol Vorobjov in connection with the case of the illegal screening of journalists in police databases in the months leading up to the murder of Jan Kuciak.

Based on the leaked phone communications, and the testimonies during the Kuciak murder trial, a commando-style force of former police officers and former secret agents followed a number of Slovak journalists, including Kuciak.

Police Corps president Milan Lučanský announced the police have taken necessary precautions. He declined to be more specific as the case is being investigated.

Interior Minister Roman Mikulec (OĽaNO) said that he was horrified to learn that an investigative journalist from Aktuality.sk found a bullet in his mailbox.

"It's absolutely unacceptable to see such primitive intimidation in our times. I'll do everything in my powers to prevent the sacrifice of Ján Kuciak from being in vain and, most of all, from such a tragedy to repeat," said Mikulec, as quoted by the Sme daily.

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