Journalist’s murder does not make Slovakia a mafia state, says PM

Journalist’s murder does not make Slovakia a mafia state, says PM
April 13, 2018   Tatjana Muskiet
The prime minister of Slovakia has hit out at people seeking to portray his country as a mafia state following the murder of a reporter investigating government corruption, but conceded that the “professional” killing was proving difficult to solve. Peter Pellegrini, who replaced Robert Fico after he was forced to quit in the wake of the murders of the journalist Ján Kuciak, 27, and his fiancee, Martina Kušnírová, said unprecedented numbers of police were working on the case. The authorities believe Kuciak was killed in relation to his work. He had recently been examining claims that a senior aide to Fico had business links with a man suspected of ties to the Italian mafia.
In an interview with the Guardian and five other European newspapers during a visit to Brussels, Pellegrini said the Slovakian police were being assisted by the FBI, the Metropolitan police and Italian and Dutch forces, but he appeared to suggest the investigation was struggling because of the delay in finding the bodies. “I am very sorry for the fact that the murders are running four days ahead of us. The problem is that the murder did occur on Wednesday, but the people were reported missing on the Sunday. This is far too much in case of a murder,” he said.
“It seems it was … very professional. That is why it may be very difficult to find. But for my government, for myself, for our citizens it is very important to find the perpetrator as quickly as possible.” Pellegrini was Fico’s deputy for the last two years, and while the protests that forced the former prime minister from office have been put on hold, there are concerns among those campaigning for a cleanup of government corruption that little will change.(theguardian)…[+]