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$81,000 paid for Slovak journalist slaying, says prosecutor

October 01, 2018

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Jan Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova were shot dead in their home on February 21.  — File
Jan Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova were shot dead in their home on February 21. — File

A prosecutor says a total sum of 70,000 euros ($81,000) was paid for the contract slayings of a Slovak investigative journalist and his fiancee.

Speaking at a news conference, a prosecutor in the case whose name was not given said Monday that 50,000 euros was paid and the remaining 20,000 euros was a forgiven debt.

Special prosecutors, who deal with the most serious crimes, are never identified, for their own protection.

Jan Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova were shot dead in their home on February 21.

Slovak authorities said they believed it was a contract killing linked to Kuciak's work he was investigating possible widespread government corruption and ties between Slovak politicians and Italian mobsters.

The killings triggered a political crisis that resulted in major protests, the dismissal of the national police chief and the government's collapse.