Slovak billionaire Marian Kocner was acquitted on Thursday for allegedly plotting the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée in 2018, despite the prosecutor’s office being able to appeal the verdict.
Kocner had been tried by a special court in Pezinok, northeast of Bratislava, since January for orchestrating the murder of the reporter who was shot dead in his home on February 21, 2018, together with his fiancée Martina Kusnirova.
The court has argued that there is insufficient evidence that Kocner ordered and paid for the murder. A woman identified as Alena Z and a former police officer identified as Tomas S were implicated as conspirators by lead witness Zoltan A.
In addition, the court could not clearly prove that Alena Z organized the murder on behalf of Kocner, although Tomas S was found guilty of complicity and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Zoltan A, along with the man who confirmed that he fired the shots, Miroslav M, had already been convicted.