Category Archives: Central Europe – Slovak Republic

Two skiers ‘denied existence’ in Slovakia avalanche.


Completed early on Sunday, the rescue operation involved a dozen HZS rescuers and volunteers along with dogs and their handlers.

Two Polish skiers have died in an avalanche in Slovakia’s High Tatra Mountains, rescuers said Sunday.

Slovakia’s Mountain Rescue Service (HZS) said three skiers were caught by an avalanche near the Kondratova Kopa mountain in the western High Tatras on Saturday evening.


“One of them managed to dig himself out and contacted rescuers who began a mission on snowmobiles and skis. They discovered two bodies of Polish skiers,” the HZS said in a statement.

A Polish rescue team found the man who survived and placed the emergency call, the HZS said.

“He was also covered in snow but managed to free himself. He then tried to find friends with an avalanche finder, but without success,” according to the HZS.

Completed early on Sunday, the rescue operation involved a dozen HZS rescuers and volunteers along with dogs and their handlers.


Kondratova Kopa is a mountain on the border with Poland with an elevation of 2,005 metres (6,600 feet).

Tourists and skiers flooded Poland’s popular nearby Zakopane and other mountain resorts this weekend after the government eased coronavirus restrictions, opening ski hills and allowing hotels to operate at half capacity



Slovakian acquitted of ordering murder of journalist.


Marian Kocner and one co-defendant are cleared of murder in the killings of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee.

A panel of judges in Slovakia has acquitted a businessman accused of masterminding the 2018 murders of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee Martina Kusnirova.

Judge Ruzena Sabova at the Specialised Criminal Court in Pezinok said on Thursday there was not enough evidence for the convictions of the businessman, Marian Kocner, and one co-defendant.

A third defendant was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Prosecutors can appeal the verdicts.

“The only thing I can say is I’m disgusted,” the journalist’s father, Jozef Kuciak, told reporters.


Kuciak was shot in the chest and Kusnirova was shot in the head at their home in the town of Velka Maca, east of Bratislava, on February 21, 2018.

During Kocner’s trial, prosecutors told the court that the businessman had allegedly threatened the journalist following publication of a story about his business dealings. Overall, Kuciak published nine stories about Kocner.

Kocner had allegedly threatened the journalist after publication of a story about him [Radovan Stoklasa/Reuters]

Kuciak filed a complaint over the alleged threats in 2017 and had claimed that police failed to act on it. He had been investigating possible government corruption when he was killed.


Previous convictions
Two other defendants previously were convicted and sentenced.

Former soldier Miroslav Marcek pleaded guilty to shooting Kuciak and Kusnirova and was sentenced to 23 years in prison in April. Prosecutors said Kocner paid Marcek to carry out the killings.

Another defendant who had acted as a go-between, Zoltan Andrusko, agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for a lesser sentence and received a 15-year prison term in December. He testified that Kocner ordered the slayings.

The killings prompted large street protests unseen since the 1989 anti-Communist Velvet Revolution and a political crisis that led to the collapse of the government.