Italian suspects arrested for corruption cited by Slovak journalist killed
Candles in homage to murdered journalist Jan Kuciak placed in front of the government headquarters during a silent protest on Wednesday 28 February in Bratislava
The Slovak police announced on Thursday that it arrested several Italian businessmen cited in a high-level corruption investigation of murdered journalist Jan Kuciak, who he suspected had ties to the mafia.
“I can confirm that these raids and arrests were made in several places,” Slovak police commander Tibor Gaspar told reporters. He added that the detainees were “persons mentioned” by Kuciak in connection with “the Italian track”.
“Tangible evidence was seized and people arrested, who will be questioned,” he added. The police operations took place in Michalowice, in eastern Slovakia.
According to Slovak media, it would be the Italian businessman Antonino Vadala and several members of his family, who according to Jan Kuciak, would have links with the Calabrian mafia ‘Ndrangheta.
The bodies of Jan Kuciak and his companion, riddled with bullets, were discovered Sunday at his home in Velka Maca, about 65 kilometers east of Bratislava.
In an unfinished article published on Wednesday by aktuality.sk, Jan Kuciak mentioned cases of tax fraud related to the Italian businessman and the environment of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico.
On Wednesday, two close collaborators of Fico resigned from their posts. One of them was Maria Troskova, an adviser to the prime minister whom Kuciak accused of having links with the Italian businessman.
The murder caused a great commotion in Slovakia. A thousand people demonstrated Wednesday in front of the government headquarters. More protests against corruption have been announced in the coming days.