Slovakia: disappointing verdict in Kuciak trial?
In an appeal trial on the murder of the Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak, the prosecution had demanded life imprisonment for business tycoon Marian Kočner, the alleged mastermind behind the killing, but he has been acquitted for the second time. Co-defendant and Kočner’s confidant Alena Zsuzsová, on the other hand, was sentenced to 25 years in prison. The prosecution intends to challenge the verdict.
Sending the wrong signal to society
“Is it sufficient to put the ‘small fry’ behind bars while the powerful once again remain untouchable? The verdict handed down by the the Specialized Criminal Court sends a very dangerous signal to society. People’s disgust will intensify. Fortunately this is not over yet. The case will be referred back to the Supreme Court on appeal. ... There is still hope for justice.”
In case of doubt rule for the accused
Deník also sees a positive side to the verdict:
“It would be much worse if the judges had given in to the enormous public pressure from the public and the media and sentenced Kočner without clear evidence. Some of us still remember the time when such sentences were passed in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. That was the darkest time both for our state and for the people who lived in it. We don’t want to go back there. Incidentally, Kočner is already in prison. And he will remain there for many, many years. Even if it’s not for commissioning a murder.”