Murder of journalist Ján Kuciak: EP delegation calls for thorough investigation
MEPs urge thorough investigation into murders of journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée, and into alleged misuse of EU funds in Slovakia, after fact-finding visit.
“We expect the Slovak authorities to thoroughly investigate the murder of Mr Kuciak and his fiancée. Our concerns over alleged misuse of the EU funds remain even after this visit. We will monitor closely the development of the situation as it is of utmost importance to regain the trust of the citizens in the state institutions”, said Co-chair of the European Parliament delegation Ingeborg GRÄSSLE (EPP, DE).
“The whole Parliament was shocked to hear of the horrific murder of investigative journalist Mr Kuciak and his partner Ms Kušnírová. The EU must do everything it can to support the ongoing investigation. Investigative journalists play an essential role in shining a light on shady dealings and we must ensure they can do so in safety and without fear of repercussions”, said delegation Co-chair Claude MORAES (S&D, UK).
The ad hoc delegation of six members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and Committee on Budgetary Control visited Slovakia on 8 - 9 March to look into the situation on the ground following the murder of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová.
The delegation was composed of the following MEPs, from 6 different political groups:
- Ingeborg GRÄSSLE (EPP, DE), Co-chair
- Claude MORAES (S&D, UK), Co-chair
- Ryszard CZARNECKI (ECR, PL)
- Sophia in 't VELD (ALDE, NL)
- Benedek JÁVOR (Greens/EFA, HU)
- Marco VALLI (EFDD, IT)
During the mission, the delegation met with a wide range of state and government representatives, including Slovak President Andrej Kiska, Prime Minister Robert Fico, the ministers of the interior, justice, finance and agriculture and leaders of opposition parties. They held meetings with law enforcement authorities, including the General Prosecutor and the President of the Police, and the Slovak Agricultural Paying Agency.
MEPs also discussed the current situation with anti-corruption NGOs, journalists and representatives of protesters, who have held nationwide protest vigils in memory of the murdered journalist and his fiancée. They also visited Veľká Mača, the village where Mr Kuciak and Ms Kušnírová lived and were found murdered.
Following the fact-finding mission in Slovakia, the delegation will draft a feedback report that will be made public.
The findings will serve as a background for the 14 March Strasbourg plenary debate on the murder of Mr Kuciak and Ms Kušnírová and the protection of journalists in Europe.
The plenary debate will be wound up by a resolution to be voted at the 16-19 April Strasbourg plenary session.
Procedure: Fact-finding mission