Today, the plenary of the European Parliament (EP) paid tribute to the memory and legacy of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnirova in its Resolution on Slovakia.
Highlighting the events that followed the murder, Roberta Metsola MEP, EPP Group Spokeswoman in the EP’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, said: “The citizens of Slovakia stood up with tremendous determination to fight for freedom of expression, press freedom and a safe media. We have seen the people of Slovakia as they came together to demand respect for the rule of law and stand up against corruption. For this, the people of Slovakia deserve our gratitude and our respect.”
The EPP Group insists on a truly independent and thorough investigation into the murders and calls on the European Anti-Fraud Office to investigate alleged fraudulent activity that Ján Kuciak uncovered.
“These horrific murders was the second time in the space of a few months that Europe bore witness to the assassination of journalists investigating corruption and its links with dirty money. Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed 6 months ago after a car bomb was detonated outside her home in Malta. Today’s vote comes after the launch of the Daphne Project in which some of the world’s leading media houses continue Daphne Caruana Galizia’s work. It sends such a strong message both to those seeking to uncover the truth and to those seeking to bury it - that even in death, journalists cannot be silenced. The truth will come out.”
Commenting on the fact-finding mission to Slovakia, Metsola said: “We expect the Slovak authorities to respond and show what concrete measures they have taken after the recommendations of our mission.
Law enforcement remains paralysed by a highly politicised selection of prosecutors and police officers. It is astonishing how many allegations of corruption against top officials and politicians have come to light. It is therefore not surprising that citizens lose trust in law enforcement agencies. Our job is to help rebuild that trust and to ensure that people do not lose faith in the European project as a result. We have shown that when citizens look to the European Parliament, we can respond.”
“It is encouraging to see that, despite everything, Slovakian citizens remain resolutely pro-European and the EPP Group joins them in demanding action. Europe is a community of values and we must be vigilant to ensure that the protection of these values is guaranteed by every Member State. Our Group will always stand at their side and support them in regaining the lost trust in their State institutions”, she concluded.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 219 Members from 28 Member States