Slovakia has been in political turmoil since last Monday, as thousands gathered in the streets with news of the murder of Kuciak and Martina Kušnírova. Citizens took to the streets of Slovak cities on 2 March in the biggest demonstrations since the fall of communism in 1989.
Four months after a huge car bomb explosion killed Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta, Ján Kuciak, a 27-year-old reporter for the aktuality.sk news portal, and his girlfriend Martina Kušnírová were found murdered in their home in Velka Maca, some 65 kilometres from the Slovak capital Bratislava.
The Police President and the Prosecutor General have said that Kuciak’s murder was “likely” to have been linked to his work. Teams from the FBI, Scotland Yard, Italy, Europol and the Czech Republic are assisting the Slovak Police in the murder investigation.
Meanwhile, the European Parliament is expected to send an extraordinary fact-finding mission to the country to examine the alleged fraud in European agricultural subsidies. According to Kuciak, the EU subsidies formed a key part of the Italian mafia’s business model in Eastern Slovakia.
The murdered reporter’s last and unfinished text has since been published by Slovak media. Kuciak had identified people with links to Italian mafia in the government circles, but the Italian suspects have been released by the police. Several top Slovakian officials have stepped down since Kuciak’s death.
Fico’s accusations against Soros came on the heels of his attack on President Andrej Kiska after Kiska had called for major reshuffles in the government or early elections.
Fico said Kiska’s announcement was “not written in Slovakia” and that the president was now acting on behalf of foreign interests. On Monday, 4 March, Fico was unambiguous: “I want to pose a simple question to Mr. President. On 20 September 2017 in New York, on 5th Avenue, I am asking, why the Head of State would pay a visit on private soil to a person, who has questionable reputation and this person’s name is George Soros.”
He said Kiska should explain to the public why he visited the private house of Soros in New York last September, labelling Soros “a dangerous man”.
Fico continued: “Why has he not taken any representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to this meeting? What happened after the murder of the journalists suggest that there is an attempt in this country for a total destabilisation”.
He also said that the country’s focus has shifted from the murder investigation to “irrelevant matters”.
Soros on Tuesday rejected claims by Slovakia’s prime minister.