News World Oligarch Alena Zsuzsova sentenced for murder of Slovakian journalist Kuciak

Oligarch Alena Zsuzsova sentenced for murder of Slovakian journalist Kuciak

The panel of three judges of the Pezinok court that has repeated the trial for the murder of the journalist Jan Kuciak and his girlfriend Martina Kusnirova, four years after the double crime, has found the couple of the powerful businessman Marian Kočner, Alena Zsuzsova, guilty while that he has once again been declared innocent for lack of evidence.

Zsuzsova has been found guilty of participating in both the plot to have the journalist assassinated and the plans to also assassinate prosecutors Maros Žilinka and Petr Sufliaske. Kocner, however, evade guilt again, although he is already in jail serving a 19-year sentence for various crimes that appeared during the investigation into the journalist’s death. Zsuzsova, also in prison, gets an additional 25 years.

Kuciak and his partner were murdered at their home in Velka Maca on February 21, 2018, when the journalist was working on several corruption cases. A posthumously published article containing his findings triggered mass protests in Slovakia and the resignation of Prime Minister Fico, plunging the country into a political crisis that continues to this day. Slovakia is now ruled by a cabinet of technocrats awaiting elections in the fall that could return Fico to power.

The material author of the shots, the former soldier Miroslav Marcek, and two accomplices were convicted. Kočner and Zsuszsova were suspected from the beginning, but in September 2020 they achieved a first acquittal for lack of evidence. Less than a year later, in June 2021, the Supreme Court of Slovakia accepted the appeal filed by the Prosecutor’s Office and revoked the pardon, forcing a second trial. Both had meanwhile been convicted of other crimes.

Judge Ružena Sabová has now reported that the sentence has been handed down unanimously and considers it proven that Zsuzsová ordered the crime and even obtained the weapons. During the reading of the sentence, which details the shooting in which the couple was hit by dozens of bullets, the mother of Martina Kušnírová cried inconsolably in the room, seated among the 11 representatives of the victims. The judge considers it proven that Alena Zsuzsová agreed with the intermediary Andruskó the murder of Ján Kuciak in exchange for a monetary reward. She used the same method to also order the murder of Maroš Žilinka.

Fear of losing income

Sabová has stated that Zsuzsova’s motive for ordering Kuciak’s assassination was her fear of losing Kočner’s income, which was her only financial support and that he was threatened by the revelations the journalist was about to publish. She has also made several comments about the communication between the two through the Threema application. “It is questionable why Kočner and Zsuzsová they communicated openly about the commission of murders trusting in the secrecy of communication. He has recalled that Zsuzsová initiated the alleged encryption and has paid special attention to the evidence that it was she who first ordered the murder of Žilinka and then that of Kuciak, while it is not proven that she consulted these orders with Kočner.

The sentence has been handed down unanimously and considers it proven that Zsuzsová ordered the crime and even obtained the weapons

On Andruskó’s (one of the witnesses) assertion that Kočner ordered the murder through Zsuzsová, the court president explained that if Kočner had known about the journalist’s murder, she would have withdrawn the surveillance team that was dealing with him. day and night. She has also pointed out that it has not been proven when and how Kočner’s money would have gotten to Zsuzsová to pay the murderers. Against Kočner, in her opinion, only indirect evidence has been presented.

This second edition of the trial, as was the first, is the mirror of a time when corruption ruled Slovakia, in the hands of small groups of businessmen who they manipulated the legislators and the courts. The new sentence on Zsuzsová suggests that that time is now part of the past, but, according to several banners outside the court, as long as Kočner remains exonerated, there will remain the suspicion that he still has enough influence, even from prison, to guide the sentences.

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