Friday 18 January 2019

Tax exposé journalist shot dead

Journalist Jan Kuciak (27). Photo: AP
Journalist Jan Kuciak (27). Photo: AP

Karel Janicek

A Slovak journalist and his girlfriend were shot dead in their home in an attack likely linked to his work on exposing tax evasion, Slovakia's top police officer said.

The bodies of 27-year-old Jan Kuciak and his partner were found on Sunday evening in their house in the town of Velka Maca, east of the capital, Bratislava, police president Tibor Gaspar said. Officers had gone to the house at the request of a worried family member.

Mr Gaspar said the killings likely have something to do with Mr Kuciak's "investigative activities".

Prime Minister Robert Fico said if that was the case, it would be "an unprecedented attack on freedom of the press and democracy in Slovakia".

Mr Fico announced his government was offering €1m to anyone who helps authorities find those behind the killings.

The reporter was shot in the chest, while the woman was shot in the head. They were estimated to have been killed between Thursday and Sunday.

Mr Kuciak was working for the news website. He focused mainly on tax evasion. In his latest story, Mr Kuciak reported on a businessman suspected of selling flats in an apartment complex to his own companies. The reporter questioned the business reasons for doing that, and speculated that it could be a method of avoiding tax.

Irish Independent

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