The charges against journalists Monika Tódová and Konštantín Čikovský from the Denník N daily were dropped on September 21.
They concerned a report from October 2018 on how former journalist-turned-spy Peter Tóth monitored several journalists for mobster Marian Kočner, including the murdered Ján Kuciak. According to the police officer who pressed the charges, they revealed confidential information when they reported that Tóth acted as a secret witness against Kočner in the Kuciak murder case.
After examining the investigation file, the prosecutor of the Bratislava regional prosecutor's office decided that the prosecution was "unlawful and unfounded, but also arbitrary," and ordered "an authorised police officer to act and decide again," reads the official statement.
This referred to the fact that the criminal complaint, submitted by Tóth, was first rejected by the police, but the charges were actually pressed following a decision of the prosecutor.
Order from the general prosecutor
The media outlets reported on the charges against the journalists on September 20. Soon after, criticism came not only from non-governmental organisations, but also several politicians and cabinet ministers.
General Prosecutor Maroš Žilinka ordered the regional prosecutor to examine the legitimacy of the decision of a police officer to press charges against the journalists on the same day.