A Corrupt Tycoon’s Acquittal Sets Back Slovakia’s Fight Against Graft

Marian Kocner, center right, is escorted by armed police officers to a courtroom for his trial, in Pezinok, Slovakia, Sept. 3, 2020 (AP photo by Petr David Josek).
Marian Kocner, center right, is escorted by armed police officers to a courtroom for his trial, in Pezinok, Slovakia, Sept. 3, 2020 (AP photo by Petr David Josek).
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PRAGUE—Last month, a Slovakian tycoon accused of masterminding the assassination of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak in 2018—a murder that profoundly transformed Slovakian politics—was acquitted by a special criminal court in Bratislava, the capital. The surprising verdict in what Michal Vasecka, a sociologist at the Bratislava Policy Institute, calls “the most followed trial in the history of Slovakia,” has been met with “anger and disbelief,” he says. Many Slovaks see the acquittal of Marian Kocner as a major setback in the government’s campaign to rid the small Central European nation of its endemic corruption. “It seems that the apparent plotters of […]

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