Acquittals overturned in Kuciak murder case

In Slovakia, the multimillionaire businessman Marián Kočner and an alleged accomplice are to be retried over the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová after the country's highest court overturned their acquittals from last September. Commentators express relief.

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Denník N (SK) /

The justice system works

Denník N stresses the importance of this trial as regards increasing the Slovakians' trust in their judiciary:

“Yesterday's verdict tells us that we can still count on the justice system to work. There is no reason for total despair, no reason for violence and anarchy. The system has the capacity to make and correct decisions, to defend the innocent and punish the guilty. Marian Kočner sat in court in his blue prison clothes. The families of Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová wept. The Supreme Court corrected a mistake. That's more or less what justice should look like.”

Hospodářské noviny (CZ) /

The rule of law on trial

The huge media interest in the case is helpful, Hospodářské noviny notes:

“The judges are under the scrutiny of the whole country through the media. This is a good thing, because by the time the rule of Robert Fico and his party came to an end, trust in the courts in Slovakia was lower than anywhere else in the EU, according to polls. Only precise and careful work, meaning a thorough justification of the punishment or acquittal in the case of Kuciak and Kušnírová, can lead to Slovakia's complete rehabilitation. ... Only then could the Slovak example showing which path leads out of the dark forest and back to a functioning liberal democracy become a model for its neighbours - including the Czech Republic.”