Slovak Police Botched Search Of Kuciak Murder Scene

Jan Kuciak, Slovakia

Bratislava, May 21 (CTK) – Slovak police botched the very first search of the scene of the February murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee, Daniel Lipsic, the lawyer of the two victims’ families, said today, referring to a part of the police file into which they could look last week.


The prosecutor’s office has confirmed that there were shortcomings at the beginning of the investigation.


“The police failed to secure the evidence they were supposed to secure, and the evidence might have been irreversibly lost,” Lipsic, former Slovak minister of interior and justice, said on Joj TV.


He said the investigators gathered some pieces of evidence only later, based on photographs.


According to daily Dennik N, the Special Prosecutor’s Office said the supervising prosecutor uncovered shortcomings on the part of the investigator who was the first to deal with the murder and searched the crime scene.


The investigator is no longer working on the case, Dennik N wrote.


Kuciak and his partner, Martina Kusnirova, were shot dead by a still unknown perpetrator in their house near Trnava, west Slovakia, in late February.


The police said the most probable motive of the murder was Kuciak’s work as an investigative journalist writing, among others, about suspicious entrepreneurs with links to the aides of then prime minister Robert Fico (Smer-Social Democrats).


Fico resigned as PM amid mass anti-government demonstrations in mid-March and was replaced by deputy PM Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) at the head of the government.


In the wake of the murder, some criticised the police for not having invited a coroner, but a pathologist specialising in histology to examine the victims’ bodies. However, the prosecutor’s office stood up for the police and said a following autopsy was performed by experts from the Forensic Medicine Institute.