Slovaks to rally across country in honor of slain journalist

  • Slovaks to rally across country in honor of slain journalist

Slovaks to rally across country in honor of slain journalist

Slovaks paid a final farewell Saturday to Jan Kuciak, an investigative journalist who was shot dead with his fiancee, with the archbishop declaring that everyone in the nation now wants to know about Italian mafia influence, thanks to Kuciak's reporting.

Thousands flocked to candlelit anti-corruption vigils for the murdered journalist held Friday across Slovakia, an European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation country of 5.4 million people.

He was killed before he had finished the article, but it was published posthumously.

A police statement said the seven suspects, ranging in age from 26 to 62, were released because no evidence had emerged during the 48 hours they can be legally detained.

In his last story, Kuciak's linked several businesses operating in Slovakia to the Italian mafia and detailed past connections between the companies and two of Fico's aides.

In the Slovak capital Bratislava, among the 20,000 protesters, some carried photographs of Mr Kuciak and Ms Kusnirova, along with a banner reading: "An attack on journalists is an attack on all of us".

One demonstrator, Jozef Belovic, told Reuters: "There is a dirty mess all around here. and we common people have to put up with it".

Some moved on to the government office to call on prime minister Robert Fico's administration to resign. The funeral for Martina Kusnirova was held on Friday. Police declined to give any crowd estimates for the demonstrations, which were organized by civic groups in reaction to the first high-profile murder of a journalist in the small post-communist European Union member last week.

A funeral Mass for Kuciak was held at the church of St. Francis of Assisi in the town of Stiavnik in western Slovakia, with his parents, friends and fellow journalists packing the aisles.

Prime Minister Fico has offered a €1m ($1.2m; £890,000) reward for anyone who comes forward with information about the case.