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Fourth Suspect Charged In Murder Of Slovak Journalist, Fiancee

A memorial to journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee, Martina Kusnirova
A memorial to journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee, Martina Kusnirova

Slovakia’s state prosecutor has charged a fourth person in connection with the murder of a Slovak investigative journalist and his fiancee – a double killing that brought thousands of protesters into the streets and toppled the government of former Prime Minister Robert Fico in March.

Andrea Predajnova, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office, said a 44-year-old woman identified as A.Z. was charged on September 30 “with the extremely serious crime of complicity in a murder.”

Slovak media reports said the woman is accused of ordering the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kusnirova, on February 21.

But a lawyer for Kuciak’s family said the woman was thought to be more of an intermediary because “the murderer absolutely could not know who ordered the crime.”

Kuciak had been investigating alleged links between Italian organized criminal groups and Slovak politicians when he and Kusnirova were shot dead at their home in Bratislava.

Both victims were 27 years old.

The three other suspects charged in the case were detained on September 27 during a house raid by Slovak police.

A court on September 30 ruled that all four suspects should remain in custody on grounds that they might engage in criminal activity or try to influence witnesses if they are freed on bail.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP