Former main investigator of the Kuciak murder returns after the verdict

Experts say the prosecutor might have missed the support of a strong team of police investigators during the trial.

Peter Juhás, former head of the police team that investigated the Kuciak murder case. Peter Juhás, former head of the police team that investigated the Kuciak murder case. (Source: Sme - Marko Erd)

The investigation of the murders of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová is likely to get moving again after the verdict delivered on September 3.

The acting Police Corps president Peter Kovařík upheld the critical voices saying that the dissolution of the team in October 2019 was premature.

Related articleKuciak verdict: The doubts that played in favour of Kočner (analysis) Read more 

One day after the not guilty verdict for Marian Kočner and Alena Zsuzsová, suspected of having ordered the murder of Kuciak, Kovařík announced that he had already been in contact with the prosecutor overseeing the murder case, Vladimír Turan. He gave him the head of Team Kuciak, Peter Juhás, to support the investigation.

"We have made it clear to each other what the prosecutor needs from us and we have agreed that the former leader of the team of investigators remains at his full disposal, while the Kuciak case remains a priority," Kovařík said.

Team Kuciak was dissolved by the then Police Corps president Milan Lučanský, in agreement with then interior minister Denisa Saková (back then from Smer, now affiliated with the emerging Hlas party).

Related articleNo end to impunity yet. How the verdict will affect Slovakia Read more 

Lučanský defended the step by saying that once the indictment was filed, the investigators had nothing to work on anymore and it was up to the court to deal with the case.

The lawyer of the family of the murdered Martina Kušnírová, Roman Kvasnica, maintains that scrapping the investigation team contributed to the non-guilty verdict of the Specialised Criminal Court.

"All through the court trial, the prosecution did not have a support team," Kvasnica said. If investigators had been at the prosecutor's disposal, they may have secured more evidence.

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