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World Thousands of Slovaks rally against government, corruption

21:14  09 march  2018
21:14  09 march  2018 Source:

Slovak police detain Italian suspects named by slain journalist

  Slovak police detain Italian suspects named by slain journalist Slovak police on Thursday detained several Italian businessmen named by murdered journalist Jan Kuciak in an explosive report on alleged high-level corruption linked to the Italian mafia, as his killing sparked fresh demonstrations in the EU state. Load Error In Italy, prosecutors suggested that the notorious Calabrian crime syndicate the 'Ndrangheta may have been behind the killing of Kuciak, 27, and his fiancee Martina Kusnirova who were found shot dead at their home on Sunday.

Protesters flooded Slovak National Uprising square in Bratislava, rallying under the slogan 'For a Decent Slovakia' © Provided by AFP Protesters flooded Slovak National Uprising square in Bratislava, rallying under the slogan 'For a Decent Slovakia'

Tens of thousands of Slovaks on Friday protested against the government and corruption, following the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee last month.

The SME daily said about 40,000 people gathered in Bratislava, making it the biggest protest in the country since the 1989 Velvet Revolution that toppled Communism in former Czechoslovakia.

Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kusnirova, both 27, were found shot dead at their home near Bratislava on February 25.

Thousands march in Slovakia to honor slain journalist

  Thousands march in Slovakia to honor slain journalist Tens of thousands of Slovaks marched in a national rally Friday to honor journalist Jan Kuciak and his girlfriend, who were shot dead as Kuciak was working on a story about the influence of the Italian mafia in Slovakia. Load Error In the capital of Bratislava, President Andrej Kiska asked a crowd estimated at 20,000 people to observe a minute of silence for the two, whose bodies were found Sunday in their house in Velka Maca, east of Bratislava.Similar marches were being held in some 25 towns and cities across the country and in cities abroad, including London, Paris and Brussels.

Police have said Kuciak's death was "most likely" related to his investigation resulting in an article on ties between Slovakia's top politicians and the Italian mafia, which his employer posthumously published.

The murder and the article sparked anti-government sentiment in the EU and NATO member of 5.4 million people.

The rallies got off to a peaceful start despite Prime Minister Robert Fico's warning earlier on Friday that protesters might attack "public buildings."

"Fico, step down!" read a banner held by one protester in central Bratislava. Others held up messages reading' "We want a decent Slovakia" and "Fico in bed with the mafia."

"A decent Slovakia is what I want. (A country) where the government works for the people, not for its own well-being," Mariana, a student, told AFP at the Bratislava rally.

Netanyahu accuses police of pressuring witnesses in graft cases

  Netanyahu accuses police of pressuring witnesses in graft cases Embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has used a video posted online Wednesday to accuse police of pressuring witnesses to "smear" him as corruption investigations against him intensify. In his first direct reaction since the announcement that his ex-aide Nir Hefetz would testify against him, Netanyahu said the "manufacture of witnesses" aims to "smear me, even at the price of lies".Israeli media reported Monday that Hefetz, a former spokesman for the Netanyahu family, had signed a state witness deal in a graft probe linked to himself and his former boss.

People also gathered outside the Slovak embassies in Prague and Berlin.

President Andrej Kiska, who called for a cabinet reshuffle or snap elections in the wake of the murders last month, tried to bring the crisis to an end by inviting Fico and parliament speaker Andrej Danko to talks on Friday.

But the three failed to agree on a joint declaration.

Amid tensions following the murder, the small coalition party Most-Hid has threatened to quit unless Interior Minister Robert Kalinak from Fico's Smer-SD party resigns.

Fico has suggested he might sack Kalinak. He is due to meet Most-Hid chairman Bela Bugar for talks at the weekend.

If Kalinak stays and Most-Hid quits, the most likely outcome is a minority government led by Fico or early elections.

A European Parliament delegation has visited Slovakia to inquire about the state of the investigations.

"EU will do whatever it can to support investigation into his (Kuciak's) death," delegation head Claude Moraes tweeted on Friday.

The killings had already prompted candlelit anti-graft protests and memorials in Slovakia and abroad last week, with some 25,000 people taking part in Bratislava alone.

Slovakia's PM Robert Fico resigns amid public outcry .
Slovak President Andrej Kiska has accepted the resignation of Robert Fico from the prime minister's post in the wake of a public outcry resulting from the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak last month. Speaking at the presidential palace after a meeting with the president on Thursday, Fico announced that his deputy prime minister, Peter Pellegrini, has been put forward to take the reins and establish a new government."The nomination of Peter Pellegrini is the most natural thing," said Fico.

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