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Europol charges four people over murder of Slovak investigative reporter following house raid arrests

Europol has charged four people in connection with the murder of a Slovakian journalist and his fiancée earlier this year, it has announced today.

The law enforcement agency for the European Union said it carried out a number of house searches in Slovakia last week, arresting a total of nine people. The other five have since been released

Investigative journalist Jan Kuciak was killed alongside Martina Kusnirova (both pictured) on 21 February at their home in the town of Velka Maca in south-west Slovakia.

Local authorities have said they suspect the 27-year-old’s death was linked to his work as an investigative reporter for online news outlet Aktuality.sk, where he covered stories about tax fraud and real estate deals involving businessmen with close connections to the country’s ruling party.

He also contributed to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Panama Papers investigation, writing stories relating to Slovakia on the leaked data that exposed the global scale of offshore tax havens.

A total of €70,000 (£63,000) is thought to have been paid to have the pair killed, according to a special prosecutor for the state.

The killings triggered a political crisis that resulted in major protests, the dismissal of the national police chief and the government’s collapse.

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