Slovakia Prime Minister Robert Fico resigns after killing of journalist

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico resigned Thursday after weeks of public protests over the slaying of an investigative journalist who reported on fraud among the country’s elite, including people connected to the governing party.

Fico announced his resignation during a ceremony in Bratislava.

Jan Kuciak, 27, and his fiancee, Martina Kusnirova, were found dead in Kuciak’s apartment in western Slovakia on February 26 with bullet wounds to the chest and head, respectively, according to the International Press Institute.

Kuciak reported on tax evasion and fraud among Slovak businesses, including people connected to the country’s governing party, Smer.

Though the bodies were found February 26 at Kuciak’s apartment in Velka Maca, investigators believe the pair were shot sometime between February 22 and February 25, police said.

On March 1, Slovak police said they had detained seven people in connection with the killings. The people detained, who are between 26 and 62 years old, are believed to have ties to Italian organized crime, Police Corps President Tibor Gaspar said at a news conference that day, according to TASR.

On February 28, published the last unfinished report Kuciak was working on before he was killed.

The report identified people settled in Slovakia who allegedly have connections to the Italian organized-crime group the ‘Ndrangheta. It also linked these people to high-profile Slovaks, including some connected to Smer.

The government of Slovakia said it was offering a reward of €1 million ($1.2 million US) for information about the killing.