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Slovakia: arrest of Italians suspected of corruption by Jan Kuciak

Ⓒ AFP – VLADIMIR SIMICEK – | Participants in a march in memory of journalist Jan
Kuciak and his companion Martine Kusnirova in Bratislava,
Slovakia on February 28, 2018

Slovak police said on Thursday they had arrested several
Italian businessmen cited in the investigation into high-level
corruption by the murdered journalist Jan Kuciak, who suspected
them of ties to the mafia.

This operation was carried out “obviously in connection with
this case (of the murder of Jan Kuciak) and with people
repeatedly named by the press, including by the last article of
Jan Kuciak Yes, we can call it the track Italian, “said police
chief Tibor Gaspar.

“Exhibits have been seized and people arrested and will be
interrogated,” he added.

Police operations took place in Michalowice in eastern
Slovakia.

– ‘Ndrangheta –

According to the Slovak media, it would be the Italian
businessman Antonino Vadala and several members of his family
that Jan Kuciak suspected of links with the Nizhhheta calabrian
mafia.

The 27-year-old journalist worked for the site aktuality.sk,
owned by German Axel Springer and Switzerland’s Ringier, and
specialized in investigative investigations.

According to Nicola Gratteri, the Italian prosecutor of
Catanzaro (in Calabria), “it is likely that behind the killing
there are Calabrian families, it is obvious that ‘Ndrangheta is
able to do these things.’

Ⓒ AFP – VLADIMIR SIMICEK – | Candles form the name of the murdered journalist Jan
Kuciak in Bratislava, Slovakia on February 28, 2018

“The ‘Ndrangheta is rooted, not infiltrated, not only
throughout Italy but also in European countries like Germany,
Switzerland and also in Eastern Europe, besides Slovakia also
in Bulgaria and Romania. “Ndrangheta is spreading eastward,
where it is where there is power, money to manage,
opportunities to seize,” he said in an interview on Thursday.
Italian radio.

– Resignations –

The news of his assassination has shocked the euro-zone
country and raised the issue of corruption that had already
sparked youth demonstrations in June calling for the dismissal
of ministers from Robert Fico’s left-wing government.

New anti-corruption protest marches are announced for the
next few days.

In an article not completed, but published after his murder
on Wednesday by aktuality.sk, Jan Kuciak evoked cases of tax
fraud in connection with the Italian businessman and the
entourage of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico.

“Two people close to a man who arrived in Slovakia while he
was being accused in a mafia affair in Italy have daily access
to the Slovak Prime Minister,” wrote Jan Kuciak.

“Italians linked to the mafia have found a second home in
Slovakia: they began to do business, receive subsidies, collect
European funds, but especially establish relations with
influential political figures, up to the Slovak government”, he
added.

Troskova, 30, and Viliam Jasan, the government’s crisis
management official, announced on Wednesday that they are
leaving their posts during the double murder investigation,
while firmly denying any involvement in these investigations.
crimes.

Ⓒ AFP – VLADIMIR SIMICEK – | Slovak Minister of Culture Marek Madaric at a press
conference on February 28, 2018 in Bratislava,
Slovakia

The Minister of Culture, Marek Madaric, resigned on
Wednesday, telling reporters that after the murder he could no
longer imagine “sitting calmly in the minister’s chair”.

The opposition demanded the resignation of the interior
minister and the police chief, accusing them of not taking the
threats against the journalist seriously.

Fico, in turn, accused the opposition of exploiting the
killing politically after accusing the media on Tuesday of
“linking, without proof, innocent people with a double
homicide”.

Known for his harsh comments to journalists he once
described as “simple idiotic hyenas” or “dirty anti-Slovak
prostitutes”, the prime minister met with senior media
officials to assure them that “the protection of freedom of
expression and the safety of journalists “was” a priority “for
his government.

He also offered a bonus of one million euros for any
information on the crime.

The murder of Jan Kuciak comes after
that in Malta in October 2017 of the journalist Daphne Caruana
Galizia who had denounced the corruption on the Mediterranean
island.

The bodies of Jan Kuciak and his companion, shot dead, were
found Sunday in their home in Velka Maca, about 65 kilometers
east of Bratislava.

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