A court has found businessman Marian Kocner not guilty of ordering the killing of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée in 2018, in an attack that rocked Slovakia. The murders triggered mass protests, leading to the downfall of populist PM Robert Fico’s government. But judges found that prosecutors had failed to prove Kocner and a third defendant had ordered the killings.
Zuzana Caputova, a liberal environmental activist and a political newcomer, was elected Slovakia’s first female president Saturday, riding to victory on a wave of public outrage against corruption in government. With 58 percent of the vote, Caputova edged out European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic, a diplomat backed by the county’s governing Smer-Social Democracy party. In her acceptance speech, Caputova framed her win as a rebuke to the nationalist rhetoric on the rise in central Europe in recent years. Since 2015, nationalist parties have won victories in Hungary, Poland and Austria.