The European Parliament stands guard over investigative journalists and whistle-blowers and Slovakia must ensure a thorough, independent, and international investigation into the murder of Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova. This was the main message of yesterday’s (19 April) non-legislative resolution approved by the European Parliament, who strongly condemns the murder of Slovak investigative journalist and proposes renaming Parliament’s traineeship for journalists after him.
European leaders called on Slovak authorities to use all necessary tools and resources to ensure a full, thorough and independent investigation of the double murder. They would also like to see this investigation to be led jointly with Europol, to bring the perpetrators to justice. MEPs also urged the protection of investigative journalists from any form of intimidation and defamation charges and from any attempts at silencing them. The murder of Jan Kuciak was the second fatal attack on a journalist in the EU in the past half a year and the fifth one in the bloc in the past decade.
Slovak prosecutors have just advanced their investigations into the murder thanks to the contribution of the Italian authorities. Eurojust, the European Union’s hub for judicial cooperation and coordination between Member States, is also taking part in the initiative to facilitate the judicial cooperation process and the coordination of operations. The Italian authorities are supporting the process, thus enabling their Slovak counterparts to get greater access to the cross-border organized crime and by that to accelerate the investigative work.
The European Parliament has also voiced its concerns about the potential penetration of organized crime in the Slovak economy and politics at all levels of the government. The Parliament has also criticized the selection of top prosecutors in the Central European country as well as a number of corruption allegations against top politicians that were not properly investigated.