Continuing with our series of outstanding journalists.
Ján Kuciak was born on 17th of May 1990 in the village of Štiavnik in Bytča District, Slovakia.
University educated to PhD level Ján got a job as a reporter for the newspaper Hospodárske novin. Then with Aktuality.sk where he was mainly involved in investigative journalism , particularly of tax evasion.
He reported on companies embezzling European Union funds, of members of the Direction – Social Democracy political party whose leader was the Prime Minister Robert Fico and about businessman Marián Kočner,
These are powerful people and organisations and Ján had threats made on his life.
In February 2018 he was murdered in his home along with his fiancé, Martina Kušnírová. Ján had been shot twice in the chest and his fiancé in the head. The killings had been done at close range.
There were mass demonstrations in Slovakia as the shock of what had happened to a young, inspiring journalist became known.
The Government was shaken and resignations followed including that of Prime Minister Fico.
Four men were charged with the murder: Tomas Sz, his cousin ex soldier Miroslav M, businessman Zoltan Andrusko and Alena Zs. Named as the person behind the ordering of the killing was big businessman Marián Kočner. The main trial of those accused starts today, Monday 13th of January.
This is Ján Kuciak’s last published story, unfinished at the time of his murder : Talianska mafia na Slovensku. Jej chápadlá siahajú aj do politiky,
Reporter: Fiona Grahame
Also so far in this series: