Kuciak murder trial

Investigative reporter Ján Kuciak was killed in his house in Veľká Mača. His fiancée Martina Kušnírová was shot dead along with him. Very soon after their dead bodies were discovered on February 26, 2018, the police said that the murder was most likely linked to Kuciak’s journalistic work.  Unlike most cases of murdered journalists in the world, the police detained and charged not just the persons whom they believe to have fired the shots, but also those who ordered the murder.

The trial with Marián Kočner, Alena Zsuzsová, Tomáš Szabó and Miroslav Marček started on January 13, 2020.

Zoltán Andruskó, who has admitted to having acted as the middleman between those who ordered the murder and those who executed it, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on December 30, 2019 in a separate proceeding, based on his plea bargain deal. He has thus become an important witness in the case against the four persons. 

Hitman Miroslav Marček pleaded guilty on the first day of the trial. His case was then singled out for a separate trial. Marček was finally sentenced to 25 years in prison in December 2020.

On September 3, 2020, the senate of the Specialised Criminal Court delivered its verdict in the case. Szabó has been found guilty and sentenced to 25 years in a maximum-security prison. Marian Kočner and Alena Zsuzsová were acquitted of charges related to the murders. 

>>> Who was Ján Kuciak and how did he become a journalist?

>>> What was the development on the Slovak political scene in the immediate days after the murder?

>>> Slovakia: Timeline of events during the first year after the murder >>> Who are the people charged in the murder case?

>>> How the trial went in its initial days (overview)

>>> Read more about how the Kuciak case changed Slovakia 

>>> The doubts that played in favour of Kočner (analysis of the verdict)

Marian Kocner and his lawyer at the Supreme Court
Overturning not-guilty verdicts, especially in cases as emotive as the Kuciak murder trial, is a very bad idea. 24. Jun 2021, at 14:00
Marian Kočner in Supreme Court during the appellate proceeding in the Kuciak murder trial.
Slovakia breathes a collective sigh of relief as Kočner is stripped of his not-guilty verdict – for now. 21. Jun 2021, at 14:22
Marian Kocner at the Supreme Court, June 15, 2021.
The original verdict had been surrounded by questions since before it was delivered. 15. Jun 2021, at 20:01
Marian Kocner at the Supreme Court on June 15, 2021.
Bereaved families, journalists and society in general hope for a well-reasoned and just verdict. 15. Jun 2021, at 19:04
Marian Kočner
The Supreme Court overturned the original verdict. The first-instance court will deal with the case again and consider newly-proposed evidence. 15. Jun 2021, at 17:28
The appellate proceeding in the Kuciak murder case starts tomorrow. Travel map changes. Registration for Covid vaccine now open to more foreigners. 14. Jun 2021, at 18:04
Alena Zsuzsová during the Ján Kuciak murder trial.
The Supreme Court will hear an appeal on June 15. Peter Kováč10. Jun 2021, at 12:47
Marian Kočner during the trial in the case of the murder of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová.
The Supreme Court has yet to launch the appellate trial. It's been three years since Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová were murdered. 20. Feb 2021, at 7:01
Sophie In 't Veld
Dutch MEP who has monitored the rule of law after the murder of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová says the system was the problem in Slovakia. 19. Feb 2021, at 20:58
Miroslav Marček
Miroslav Marček was sentenced to 25 years in prison. 2. Dec 2020, at 12:01
Marian Kočner escorted to the courtroom on September 3 to hear the verdict.
The court does not trust Peter Tóth and questions the role of middleman Andruskó. 7. Oct 2020, at 15:04
Peter Juhás, former head of the police team that investigated the Kuciak murder case.
Experts say the prosecutor might have missed the support of a strong team of police investigators during the trial. Peter Kováč8. Sep 2020, at 14:27
The families of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová after the verdict.
The verdict in the Kuciak murder trial dominated the news last week and has further divided Slovakia. 7. Sep 2020, at 12:49
Marian Kočner in court
There are several points in the murder story that the court says the prosecutors have not proven beyond reasonable doubt. 4. Sep 2020, at 16:59
Jozef Kuciak and Zlatica Kušnírová
Lawyer for the Kuciak family, Daniel Lipšic, considers the verdict incorrect. 3. Sep 2020, at 18:17
Specialised Criminal Court President Ján Hrubala after the Kuciak murder verdict.
Specialised Criminal Court President Ján Hrubala admits judges make mistakes too, but is convinced that the judges in the Kuciak case tried to do their job the best they could. 3. Sep 2020, at 17:48
Marian Kočner and his lawyer Marek Para.
The Supreme Court cannot simply overturn the verdict. 3. Sep 2020, at 17:36
Tomáš Benedikovič and his work
Photographer of the Denník N daily called the series The Trail. 3. Sep 2020, at 12:28
Marian Kočner escorted to the courtroom on September 3 to hear the verdict.
Politicians, non-governmental sector and journalists ask for the fight for justice to continue. 3. Sep 2020, at 12:12
Kuciak's family leaving the court after "not guilty" verdict for Marian Kočner and Alena Zsuzsová.
The verdict is not valid yet. The prosecutor appealed. 3. Sep 2020, at 10:38
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