Bratislava, March 1 (CTK) – The Slovak police have detained seven people in raids in eastern Slovakia during the investigation into the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his girlfriend, Police President Tibor Gaspar told reporters today.
Media reported previously that Antonino Vadala, an Italian businessmen whom Kuciak mentioned in his last unfinished article, was among the detainees. Two relatives of Vadala have also been detained, Korzar newspaper wrote.
The investigators launched the raids in buildings linked to Vadala this morning.
According to Aktuality.sk server, for which Kuciak worked before being shot dead together with his girlfriend last week, the police are searching buildings in Michalovce and Trebisov, both towns in east Slovakia.
Kuciak wrote in an article which he had no time to complete and which the Slovak media issued on Wednesday, that representatives of four families coming from Calabria, Italy, have been operating in mutual coordination in the east of Slovakia.
The infamous ‘Ndrangheta mafia operates in Calabria.
The family of Vadala is one of the four suspicious families, whose Slovak business focuses on agriculture, Kuciak wrote.
Gaspar also mentioned a new trace in the investigation, leading to the Slovak Supreme Court.
Slovak journalist Radovan Branik told the Czech server Aktualne.cz that Kuciak’s murder might rather be connected with the situation in Slovak judiciary, in particular a corruption case at a Slovak court.
On the contrary, at today’s press conference, Gaspar more or less ruled out the connection for Kuciak’s murder with a drug trace on which he had informed the media on Wednesday, RTVS Slovak TV reported. Gaspar then said the police were looking into the circumstances of an alleged meeting of two people suspected of drug crimes in Velka Maca village, west Slovakia, where Kuciak and his fiancee had been shot dead.
The mother of Martina Kusnirova, Kuciak’s murdered girlfriend, expressed fears of the police manipulating the investigation. In this respect, she welcomed the participation of an international team in it, Plus jeden den daily writes.
Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kalinak wrote on a social network that the Czech and Italian police got involved in the investigation into Kuciak’s murder and representatives of the Europol, U.S. FBI and British Scotland Yard had also promised aid to Slovakia.