A former soldier has admitted killing a Slovak journalist and his fiancee, a crime that sparked mass protests leading to the resignation of the prime minister Robert Fico.
Miroslav Marček told the special criminal court in Pezinok that he accepted guilt, an admission that could reduce his sentence from potential life imprisonment.
Marček was charged with shooting Ján Kuciak, 27, an investigative reporter, and his fiancee, Martina Kusnirova, in their house near Bratislava in February 2018.
Two other defendants including Marian Kocner, a businessman who had been a subject of Kuciak’s reporting, said they were innocent of charges of ordering the killing. One defendant who police say helped Marček to carry out the killing did not make a statement at the hearing.
The killing led to large demonstrations against corruption that forced Fico and the country’s chief of police to step down. Several senior justice officials later quit after investigations revealed they had been in contact with Kocner.
Last year Slovak public television reported police sources as saying Marček had admitted his guilt during questioning. A fifth suspect, Zoltan Andrusko, confessed in December to facilitating the murder and was given a 15-year prison sentence.