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Italian Suspects in Slovak Journalist’s Murder Released

Slovak authorities have released all seven Italians detained Thursday in connection with the murder of an investigative journalist, news website tvnoviny.sk reported Saturday.

The release took place before dawn local time. Charges needed to be brought within the statutory time limit of 48 hours and it is assumed that none were filed, the website reported. Police confirmed the suspects’ release but provided no further details.

The suspects were taken into custody as part of an investigation into the murder of Jan Kuciak, 27, and his girlfriend Martina Kusnirova, who were found shot dead in their home near the capital, Bratislava, last Sunday.

Kuciak was about to publish an article on alleged high-level political corruption connected to the Italian city of Calabria’s notorious ‘Ndrangheta mafia.  

The seven Italian businessmen named by Kuciak in his report, which was published posthumously earlier this week, are Antonino Vadala, 42, Sebastiano Vadala, 45, Bruno Vadala, 40, Diego Roda, 62, Antonio Roda, 58, Pietro C., 26 and Pietro C., 54).

Investigators said Kuciak’s death was “most likely” linked to his reporting.

Thousands attended candlelit anti-corruption protests and memorials held across Slovakia on Friday in reaction to Kuciak’s murder.

Organizers estimated that about 25,000 people gathered in Bratislava, while thousands more paid tribute to Kuciak in other cities and towns across the EU country of 5.4 million people.

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