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Slovakia journalist murder: 7 suspects released

Slovakia journalist murder: 7 suspects released

Slovak authorities have released all seven Italians detained Thursday in connection with the murder of an investigative journalist, news website reported Saturday.

Jan Kuciak, who was writing an article on corruption allegations, and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova were shot dead at their home last Sunday.

Kuciak was reporting about the influence of the Italian mafia in Slovakia and its possible ties to people close to Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico.

Al Jazeera's Charlotte Bellis reports.

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

Alongside the photos of the 27-year-old journalist, protesters displayed banners saying "I am angry", "Mafia get out of my country", and "An attack on journalists = an attack on us all".

One demonstrator, Jozef Belovic, told Reuters: "There is a dirty mess all around here. and we common people have to put up with it".

A funeral mass for Mr Kuciak was held at the church of St Francis of Assisi in the town of Stiavnik in western Slovakia.

An Italian former anti-mafia prosecutor has said Italian prosecutors warned Slovak authorities of "dangerous" infiltration into the country by a powerful Italian organised crime syndicate, the 'Ndrangheta. Police confirmed the suspects' release but provided no further details.

Mr Roberti suggested the group may have killed the journalist as "there was no other way to silence" him.

Prime Minister Fico, who is known for his attacks on the media, was urged by the secretary general of the Reporters Without Borders group to apologise to journalists when they met on Friday.

He has also regularly attacked journalists in the past, calling them "dirty, anti-Slovak whores" and "slimy snakes".


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