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Slovakia charges judges with corruption over journalist murder

By AFP - Mar 11,2020 - Last updated at Mar 11,2020

BRATISLAVA — Slovak prosecutors on Wednesday pressed various charges, including corruption, against judges and others over their communications with a businessman accused of having ordered the 2018 murder of a journalist, according to police.

The names of the accused were not released by the police but reports said the detained individuals include the deputy president of the supreme court and a former justice ministry state secretary.

“Thirteen judges, one former judge, one bankruptcy trustee, one lawyer and two civilians were detained today,” police said on their Facebook page.

They added that prosecutors pressed charges of corruption, obstructing justice and thwarting judicial independence against the individuals, without specifying which charge applied to whom.

The charges were based on messages found on the phone of businessman Marian Kocner, who has been charged with ordering the February 2018 murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak.

“Representatives of state authorities at various levels communicated with Marian K.,” an unnamed special prosecutor had told reporters in August 2019.

He added that according to their findings, several officials “committed criminal offences”.

Police confiscated the mobile phones of several Bratislava judges and prosecutors last summer in connection with their communications with Kocner.

Igor Matovic, who has been tasked with forming a four-party centre-right government coalition, had vowed to push through anti-corruption measures before his OLaNO Party won the February general election.

“People want us to clean up Slovakia. They want us to make Slovakia a fair country where laws will apply to everyone,” Matovic told reporters on election day.

 

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