News digest: Kuciak murder trial ends, attempt to oust Matovič starts

Read your overview of news from Slovakia on Thursday, July 23.

The empty seats of OĽaNO MPs.The empty seats of OĽaNO MPs. (Source: SME)

This is your overview of news from Slovakia on Thursday, July 23, 2020. Read all you need to know about events that happened in Slovakia today in less than 5 minutes.

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Kuciak murder trial ends

The Specialised Criminal Court in Pezinok has wrapped up the presentation of evidence in the Kuciak murder case on the 21st trial day, on July 23, 2020.

>>>Read more about the trial so far.

The lawyer representing Marian Kočner has proposed that a large volume of new evidence be taken into account. The lawyers of the bereaved families and the prosecutor who oversees the case saw it as an attempt to stretch out the length of the trial. The court has dismissed all the additionally proposed evidence and proceeded with closing speeches.

"The guilt of the defendants has been proved beyond reasonable doubt," Prosecutor Turan concluded. He proposed a punishment of 25 years in prison for all the defendants.

Matovič government's first no confidence vote

Igor Matovič is the first of his cabinet to face a no confidence vote. The session that the opposition MPs have initiated in the aftermath of the reports about Matovič's plagiarism was opened on Thursday before noon.

Four months after he took over as prime minister, Matovič faces the vote that could lead to his forced resignation if successful. This is however, unlikely. MPs of the ruling coalition have already said they would not take part in the initiative of opposition MPs from Smer and from the group of Smer renegades led by Peter Pellegrini.

Several of the coalition MPs, particularly from the smallest coalition party Za Ľudí, have however, criticised Matovič for the way he communicated the scandal.

The session is expected to take place late into the night.

In other news today:

  • The number of foreigners working in Slovakia dropped slightly in June 2020. The largest group among foreigners in Slovakia remains Ukrainians.
  • Andrej Danko is testifying at the National Criminal Agency, the reported. Danko told journalists after the hearing that the investigators were asking him about Milan Čuba, who earned thousands of euros a year as the advisor to the boss of the state-run Tipos betting company. He did not say if he also testified about the corruption case at the agricultural subventions agency, the Cattle Breeder case.
  • The first section of the Bratislava ring road project was opened at odds with nature protection legislation, environmentalists from the SOS/Birdlife Slovakia organisation say. Therefore, they will submit a complaint to the European Commission and financing banks. Read more.
  • The more than 2,000 tests performed on Wednesday have returned 31 new coronavirus positive results. See more details about the development of the infections in Slovakia here.
  • The Irish government is planning to cancel the compulsory 14-day quarantine for people arriving from countries on its "green list". That is 15 European countries, including Slovakia. Reuters
  • The number of visitors to accommodation facilities in Slovakia has dropped by 93 percent in May in the year-on-year comparison. This was caused by the coronavirus measures that closed the facilities down for several weeks. This May, 38,900 guests stayed at hotels and pensions in Slovakia, compared to 553,000 in May 2019. SITA
  • Kia Motors Slovakia will halt production at its plant in the northern-Slovak city of Žilina for a planned company-wide holiday on the usual date at the turn of July and August. In early September, Kia will relaunch the third shift.
  • Labour unionists have agreed with the management of the Bratislava-based Volkswagen plant to prolong the collective agreement, originally set to expire in September 2023, by one year. This could help the plant gain the production of new models that the company originally planned for its plant Turkey. (Hospodarske Noviny)

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