Reporter Laid to Rest, Archbishop Decries Murder as “Attack on Country”

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The funeral of murdered investigative journalist Jan Kuciak, 27, in his native village of Stiavnik in northern Slovakia. (Photo by TASR)

Stiavnik, March 3 (TASR) – Hundreds of people attended the funeral of murdered investigative journalist Jan Kuciak, 27, in his native village of Stiavnik (Zilina region) on Saturday, with Catholic Archbishop of Bratislava Stanislav Zvolensky, who headed the funeral services, calling the murder as an “attack on the freedom of our country, our earthly homeland”.

“Journalists’ work must be valued despite all differences in opinions. They’re dedicated body and soul to their job and they’re willing to make big sacrifices. It’s tragic that journalists are appreciated only when a tragedy occurs,” said Zvolensky in his sermon.

“Let those who’ve shed the blood of Martina [Kusnirova, Kuciak’s fiancée – ed. note] and Jan know that their blood is crying from earth to heaven. Those who’ve committed this sin and who have anything in common with it should do penance immediately. It’s pointless to flee and hide. You won’t flee God’s justice anyway,” said the archbishop.

Kuciak’s news outlet Aktuality.sk editor-in-chief Peter Bardy at the funeral stated that the staff is attempting to recover and continue in work.

“The support of our fellow journalists and the public helps us very much. It’s really a big encouragement for us,” said Bardy.

Kuciak’s fiancée was laid to rest in the village of Gregorovce (Presov region) on Friday.
Kuciak and Kusnirova were found by the police shot and killed in the journalist’s house in Velka Maca (Trnava region) last Sunday after their relatives hadn’t heard of them for several days. It emerged that Kuciak was finishing an article on alleged presence of Italian Mafia in eastern Slovakia and links of some shady figures to senior officials of the national Government Office. Albeit unfinished, the article was later published by all key media in Slovakia and also some major foreign outlets, including Germany’s Bild and Die Welt, Switzerland’s Blick and Le Temps, Brussels-based Politico, and Business Insider and Newsweek.