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Slovakia: Marian Kocner sentenced to jail in separate forgery case


Bratislava, Slovakia – Marian Kocner, the notorious Slovak businessman linked to the killing of investigative reporter Jan Kuciak, was sentenced to 19 years in jail in a separate case of forgery this week.

On Tuesday, Slovakia’s Supreme Court upheld last year’s lower court ruling sentencing Kocner, along with former Economy Minister Pavol Rusko, to 19 years in jail for forgery.

“The Supreme Court has upheld the ruling of the Specialised Criminal Court, which imposed sentences of 19 years on both defendants. Justice has won today. But this is only the beginning”, Markiza lawyer Daniel Lipsic was quoted as saying by the TASR news agency.

Kocner, who was also ordered to pay a fine of €10,000, was arresting for forging four promissory notes used to obtain €69 million from private broadcaster TV Markiza, where Pavol Rusko was an executive, before it was acquired by Central European Media Enterprises (CME) – itself bought last year by the Czech Republic’s biggest fortune Petr Kellner’s PPF Group.

The verdict is final and cannot be appealed.

Marian Kocner was suspected of being the mastermind behind the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak, who was investigating corruption between Kocner and government officials, and his fiancee Martina Kusnirova in 2018.

The murder sparked mass protests in the country and led to the resignation of then Prime Minister Robert Fico. A number of other politicians and officials have since then resigned or were arrested as part of the investigation into the slayings.

Kocner was nevertheless acquitted in this case last September. Prosecutors have appealed the ruling and the Supreme Court hasn’t delivered its verdict yet.

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