Slovakia: sentence for Kuciak's murderer too mild?

The hitman who assasinated Slovakian investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée two years ago has been sentenced to 23 years in prison. He had confessed to the crime and given the contractor's name. Another court case against this suspect has been suspended due to the coronavirus crisis. Slovakian media explain why the shooter wasn't sentenced to life in prison.

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Denník N (SK) /

Confessions must be worthwhile

Dennik N explains why the shooter didn't receive the maximum sentence:

“The court convicted Marček not only for killing Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová, but also for the earlier murder of a businessman. You don't have to be a professor of criminal law to see that such a crime deserves extraordinary punishment. In Slovakia that means 25 years or life. ... However the court took mitigating circumstances into account, in particular Marček's confession and his cooperation with the investigators. So the result may be questionable, but it's understandable. The court's sentence is also meant to convey the message that confessions are worthwhile.” (SK) /

String-puller deserves maximum penalty

Kuciak's former colleagues at news website take a similar view:

“The punishment handed down to triple murderer Miroslav Marček doesn't seem fair. Nevertheless it's correct. ... If we want criminals to work with the police so that others can be punished, we need to compromise. ... The court is reserving the most severe punishment for Marian Kočner, who according to the indictment ordered Kuciak's 'disappearance' in the naive belief that that would silence other journalists.”