The Latest: Thousands march to honour slain journalist - InfoNews

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The Latest: Thousands march to honour slain journalist

A detained man is escorted by police officers after raid in the town of Michalovce, eastern Slovakia, on Thursday, March, 1. 2018. Police were conducting raids in eastern Slovakia on Thursday in houses linked to members of Italian mafia, about whom an investigative journalist was writing before he was shot dead last week. The country’s police chief, Tibor Gaspar, told reporters in the eastern town of Michalovce on Thursday that about 10 people should be detained. (Roman Hanc/TASR via AP)
March 02, 2018 - 9:30 AM

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia - The Latest on the killing of a Slovak investigative journalist (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

Thousands of Slovaks are attending a national rally to honour an investigative journalist shot dead last week along with his partner.

President Andrej Kiska was one of those who attended a march in the capital. Similar marches are planned for some 25 towns and cities across the country.

Alongside the photos of the journalist, the people displayed banners saying "I am angry," ''Mafia get out of my country," and "An attack on journalists = an attack on us all."

Other commemorative gatherings are planned in two dozen cities abroad, including London, Paris and Brussels.

The bodies of 27-year-old Jan Kuciak and his girlfriend, Martina Kusnirova, were found Sunday in their house.

Kuciak's last, unfinished story was about the activities of Italian mafia in eastern Slovakia and their ties to people close to Prime Minister Robert Fico.

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2:25 p.m.

Italy's former anti-Mafia prosecutor says Italian prosecutors warned Slovak authorities about "dangerous" infiltration by an immensely powerful Italian organized crime syndicate.

Franco Roberti said on Italian radio Friday: "We warned authorities in Bratislava, but unfortunately they didn't heed us" about the 'ndrangheta syndicate's expansion into Slovakia.

Roberti said the 'ndrangheta, based in southern Italy, might have killed investigative reporter Jan Kuciak and his partner in Slovakia because "there was no other way to silence" him.

He said "corruption" of local officials plays a big role in the 'ndrangheta's activity abroad.

The recently retired Roberti called it "an old story" that the 'ndrangheta, based in southern Italy, operates in Eastern Europe, Canada and elsewhere.

Roberti said 80 per cent of the billions of euros the syndicate makes trafficking cocaine is invested outside Italy for laundering and making profits.

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1:30 p.m.

The secretary general of Reporters Without Borders has called on Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico to apologize for insulting journalists.

During a meeting with Fico in Bratislava, Christophe Deloire deplored what he called the "appalling climate for journalists" created by government leaders in Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Fico has been known for his numerous attacks on the media.

Deloire said he took note of the government efforts to investigate the killings of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his partner Martina Kusnirova who were shot dead in their house last week.

But Deloire added: "We nonetheless think you should express regret and apologize for having insulted journalists on several occasions."

In his last, unfinished piece, Kuciak was writing about the activities of Italian mafia in Slovakia and their ties to state officials close to Fico.

Deloire said it was Fico's duty "to ensure that the justice system is able to convict (Kuciak's) murderers, and a duty to protect journalists who investigate tax fraud and corruption."

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12:45 p.m.

Slovaks are planning a national rally to honour an investigative journalist shot dead last week along with his partner.

The organizers said that 25 marches are planned Friday in Slovakia, including in the capital, Bratislava, at which President Andrej Kiska will attend.

Other commemorative gatherings are planned in two dozen cities abroad, including London, Paris and Brussels.

The bodies of 27-year-old Jan Kuciak and his girlfriend, Martina Kusnirova, were found Sunday in their house.

Kuciak's last, unfinished story was about the activities of Italian mafia in eastern Slovakia and their ties to people close to Prime Minister Robert Fico.

The rallies are taking place amid calls for international experts to join the investigation and for Interior Minister Robert Kalinak, who was linked to corruption scandals in the past, to resign.

News from © The Associated Press, 2018
The Associated Press

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