Welcome to your weekly commentary and overview of news from Slovakia. The man accused of ordering the murder of Ján Kuciak was acquitted again. Slovakia has a new government, with Ľudovít Ódor’s cabinet expected to govern for the next six months.
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One guilty verdict and one acquittal, for now
When Judge Ružena Sabová read her senate’s verdict acquitting Marian Kočner on charges of having ordered the murder of Ján Kuciak (and planning to murder several senior prosecutors), the newsroom, where I was listening with my colleagues to a live audio feed from the court, fell completely silent. More than five years have elapsed since Kuciak was murdered along with his fiancée Martina Kušnírová; four have passed since Kočner was first charged in the case; and two-and-a-half years have gone by since he was acquitted for the first time.
“Will we even live to see it?,” Jozef Kuciak, the father of the murdered journalist, asked reporters in front of the court after the acquittal. He was unable to evince much hope that justice would ever be served in his son’s case. The families of the murdered couple nonetheless say they will appeal against this latest verdict.