Title Title
Recent murders are "a shocking wake-up call" for press freedom in the European Union Murders of European journalists are 'shocking wake-up call'
Summary Summary
Two journalists have now been assassinated in European Union member states in the last six months. To mark World Press Freedom Day, help us look at how journalists in some EU member states face hostility and danger
Highlights Highlights
  "Without a guarantee of press safety, there cannot be press freedom" – Hannah Storm , In the most recent Press Freedom Index, Europe as a whole saw the largest drop in press freedoms – even as it remains the safest area for journalists
Content Content
<strong>Europe is generally considered a safe place to be a journalist.</strong>  
<strong>The continent leads t</strong><span style="font-weight: bold;"> </span><span style="font-weight: bold;">way in press freedom.</span><span style="font-weight: bold;"> </span><a style="font-weight: bold;" href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Press_Freedom_Index">8 out of the top 10 countries</a><span style="font-weight: bold;"> in the most recent Press Freedom Index are European.</span>  
<a style="font-weight: bold;" href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_freedom_in_the_European_Union">The respect of media freedom and pluralism is</a><strong style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem;"><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_freedom_in_the_European_Union"> also a "fundamental right"</a> that applies to all member states of the European Union and their citizens, as specified by <a href="http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:12012P/TXT">Article 11 of the EU's Charter on Fundamental Rights.</a></strong>  
  <b>For <a href="https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/worldpressfreedomday/2018">World Press Freedom Day</a>, <em>WikiTribune</em> interviewed experts who are concerned with a rise in the number of investigative journalists killed in European Union (EU) member states.</b>
<strong>Therefore, it came as a shock to many across Europe when <a href="https://cpj.org/data/killed/murdered/?status=Killed&amp;motiveConfirmed%5B%5D=Confirmed&amp;type%5B%5D=Journalist&amp;typeOfDeath%5B%5D=Murder&amp;start_year=2017&amp;end_year=2018&amp;group_by=year">two journalists were recently assassinated in European Union member states.</a></strong>  Of the five EU journalists <a href="http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&amp;reference=B8-2018-0186&amp;language=EN">murdered</a> in the last 10 years, <a href="https://cpj.org/data/killed/murdered/?status=Killed&amp;motiveConfirmed%5B%5D=Confirmed&amp;type%5B%5D=Journalist&amp;typeOfDeath%5B%5D=Murder&amp;start_year=2017&amp;end_year=2018&amp;group_by=year">two were killed</a> in the last seven months.
First, Maltese investigative reporter <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daphne_Caruana_Galizia">Daphne Caruana Galizia</a> was <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daphne_Caruana_Galizia">killed by a car-bomb</a> while leaving her home in Bidnija, North Malta, in October 16, 2017.  First, Maltese investigative reporter <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daphne_Caruana_Galizia">Daphne Caruana Galizia</a> was <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daphne_Caruana_Galizia">killed by a car-bomb</a> while leaving her home in Bidnija, Malta in October 2017.
Barely four months later, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_J%C3%A1n_Kuciak">Slovakian reporter Jan Kuciak and his fiancee, Martina Kusnirova,</a> were found dead in his home in the village of Vel'ka Maca, east of the country's capital, Bratislava, on February 26, 2018. <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_J%C3%A1n_Kuciak">The two had been shot to death five days before</a>.  Four months later, Slovakian reporter <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_J%C3%A1n_Kuciak">Jan Kuciak</a> and his fiancée, Martina Kusnirova, were <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_J%C3%A1n_Kuciak">shot dead</a> in Kuciak's home in a small village near the capital, Bratislava, in February 2018.
These killings have much in common. Both are <a href="https://cpj.org/data/killed/murdered/?status=Killed&amp;motiveConfirmed%5B%5D=Confirmed&amp;type%5B%5D=Journalist&amp;typeOfDeath%5B%5D=Murder&amp;start_year=2017&amp;end_year=2018&amp;group_by=year">explicitly classified as murders</a> by the Committee to Protect Journalists.  
Both <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-slovakia-crime-march/thousands-march-for-slain-slovak-journalist-who-probed-corruption-idUKKCN1GE2OK">Kuciak</a> and <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-malta-daphne-specialreport/special-report-the-silencing-of-maltas-anti-corruption-campaigner-idUKKBN1HO2QW">Caruana Galizia</a> had been reporting on alleged government corruption in their home countries.  
Both <a href="https://cpj.org/europe/slovakia/">Kuciak</a> and<a href="https://cpj.org/europe/malta/"> Caruana Galizia</a> were the first recorded journalists murdered in their countries, and as such their deaths were met with outrage in <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41715583">Malta</a> and <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-slovakia-crime-march/thousands-march-for-slain-slovak-journalist-who-probed-corruption-idUKKCN1GE2OK">Slovakia </a>respectively.  
But<a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-malta-daphne/vigil-held-in-malta-to-mark-six-months-since-car-bomb-killed-journalist-idUKKBN1HN2R6"> no-one has yet been found guilty</a> of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_J%C3%A1n_Kuciak">either of their murders</a>, and investigations are still ongoing.  
  The killings have much in common; both have been<a href="https://cpj.org/data/killed/murdered/?status=Killed&amp;motiveConfirmed%5B%5D=Confirmed&amp;type%5B%5D=Journalist&amp;typeOfDeath%5B%5D=Murder&amp;start_year=2017&amp;end_year=2018&amp;group_by=year"> classified as murders</a> by the Committee to Protect Journalists and occurred in countries which have been <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_enlargement_of_the_European_Union">EU member states since 2004. </a>Neither country has seen any journalists murdered in connection with their work before.
  <h2>Daphne Caruana Galizia</h2>
  On the morning of her murder, Daphne Caruana Galizia had <a href="https://daphnecaruanagalizia.com/2017/10/crook-schembri-court-today-pleading-not-crook/">posted</a> on her blog, <a href="https://daphnecaruanagalizia.com/">Running Commentary,</a> about an ongoing political scandal surrounding current Maltese Prime Minister <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Muscat">Joseph Muscat</a>.
  Figures close to the prime minister had been named in the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama_Papers">Panama Papers,</a> leaked in 2016, as owners of offshore companies.
  Just two months following her death, three Maltese men, Alfred Degiorgio, his brother George, and Vince Muscat (no relation to the prime minister), were<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-42221352"> charged with murder.</a> The three men have all <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-malta-carbomb-charges/three-charged-in-malta-for-murder-of-anti-corruption-journalist-idUKKBN1DZ346">pleaded not guilty,</a> and their trial is ongoing (<em><a href="https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/court_and_police/86444/continuous_updates__daphne_caruana_galizia_murder_case_continues#.WuGfNojwbIU">Malta Today</a>).</em>
  Earlier this month, <a href="https://www.forbiddenstories.org/">Forbidden Stories</a>, a Paris-based non-profit organization which aims to continue the work of murdered, imprisoned or otherwise incapacitated reporters, launched <a href="https://www.occrp.org/en/thedaphneproject/">The Daphne Project </a>to continue Caruana Galizia's work and<a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2018/04/17/free_speech/daphne-project-to-continue-work-of-maltese-journalist-daphne-caruana-galizia/64367/"> further investigate her death.</a>
  The project <a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2018/04/17/free_speech/daphne-project-to-continue-work-of-maltese-journalist-daphne-caruana-galizia/64367/">involves 45 journalists</a> from 18 organizations, across 15 countries.
  Among the first new material released was an interview with Peter Caruana Galizia, Daphne's husband, who told <em><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/17/malta-protecting-mastermind-journalist-daphne-caruana-galizia-says-husband">The Guardian</a></em> that he believes the mastermind of his wife's murder is being protected.
  "It's clear to us that the three men arraigned so far are contractors commissioned by a third party," he said.
  <h2>Jan Kuciak</h2>
  The primary focus of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_J%C3%A1n_Kuciak">Jan Kuciak's work</a> was organized tax fraud and the embezzlement of EU funds by business people associated with Slovakia's former Prime Minister Robert Fico who leads the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Fico">Direction - Social Democracy Party</a>.
  Kuciak's final article, unfinished at the time of his murder, claimed that Italian mafia group <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%27Ndrangheta">'Ndrangheta</a>, listed by a<a href="https://www.europol.europa.eu/publications-documents/threat-assessment-italian-organised-crime"> 2013 Europol threat assessment </a>as "among the richest and most powerful organized crime groups at a global level," had been active in Eastern Slovakia.
  Like Caruana Galizia, some of Kuciak's subjects <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-slovakia-crime-police/slovak-journalists-murder-was-contract-killing-prosecutor-says-idUSKBN1H2207">had been named</a> in the Panama Papers.
  Fico himself had previously referred to reporters as "dirty, anti-Slovak prostitutes" in 2016 when asked about allegations of misspent funds (<em><a href="https://www.politico.eu/article/robert-fico-calls-reporters-dirty-anti-slovak-prostitutes-foreign/">Politico</a>).</em>
  In the ongoing investigation into his death, a prosecutor who asked not to be named, told Reuters in March that Kuciak and his partner's deaths suggested signs of being a<a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-slovakia-crime-police/slovak-journalists-murder-was-contract-killing-prosecutor-says-idUSKBN1H2207"> "contract killing."</a>
  While Prime Minister Fico <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_J%C3%A1n_Kuciak">resigned</a> in March, following wide <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-slovakia-crime-march/thousands-march-for-slain-slovak-journalist-who-probed-corruption-idUKKCN1GE2OK">public protests over the murders</a> and Slovakia's national police chief Tibor Gaspar is also <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-slovakia-politics/slovak-protests-force-police-chief-to-quit-over-journalists-murder-idUSKBN1HO20U">set to resign </a>by the end of May, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_J%C3%A1n_Kuciak">no-one has yet been charged</a> with Kuciak and Kusnirova's murders.
  <h2>What has the EU done so far?</h2>
  The EU guarantees its member states both media freedom and pluralism in <a href="http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:12012P/TXT">Article 11 in its Charter of Fundamental Rights</a>.
  Dunja Mijatovic, commissioner for human rights at the Council of Europe, told <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/18/daphne-caruana-galizia-murder-eu-politicians-demand-broader-inquiry-malta-police-chief"><em>The Guardian</em></a> last month that "six months after her killing, it does not appear that the Maltese authorities have made any progress to identify the masterminds."
  On the same day, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/19/daphne-project-meps-and-authors-crank-up-pressure-on-maltese-authorities">573 of the European Parliament's 751 members</a> backed a<a href="http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&amp;reference=B8-2018-0186&amp;language=EN"> resolution </a>in Strasbourg calling for the better protection of investigative journalists in Europe (<em><a href="https://euobserver.com/tickers/141650">EuObserver</a>)</em><em>.</em>
  Justice Commissioner <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%C4%9Bra_Jourov%C3%A1">Vera Jourova</a> said on April 23 that <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-malta-moneylaundering/eu-to-check-on-money-laundering-moves-in-malta-journalists-murder-idUSKBN1HU1SK">she would visit Malta </a>to investigate government moves against money laundering, and to check on the investigation into Galizia's death.
  Regarding Kuciak's murder, European Parliament President <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-slovakia-crime-eu/eu-demands-justice-for-murdered-slovak-journalist-idUKKCN1GA1Y4">Antonio Tajani called </a>on Slovakia to "launch a thorough investigation with international support if needed" and added that "the <a title="European Parliament" href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Parliament">European Parliament</a> will not rest until justice is done."
  <h2>Member states still have responsibility</h2>
  According to a number of people interviewed by <em>WikiTribune</em>, the onus is still on the governments of member states themselves to protect press freedom.
  "It is primarily the responsibility of Member States to protect media freedom and pluralism within their respective countries ... we urge the responsible authorities to continue the ongoing investigation up and until the persons responsible for this crime have been found and justice is served," Christian Wigand, an <a href="https://www.europeana.eu/portal/en/record/2031901/P_027137_00_12.html">EU spokesman</a> specializing in justice and rule of law, told <em>WikiTribune.</em>
  "The European Commission acts as a facilitator, for example by financing independent projects offering practical support to journalists under threat and monitoring the situation of media freedom and pluralism in Europe."
<h2>"The situation is desperate"</h2>  <h2>"We need more than words"</h2>
For years, Daphne Caruana Galizia had been <a href="https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/malta-daphne/">investigating corruption</a> in her home country.  
On the morning of her death, she'd uploaded a <a href="https://daphnecaruanagalizia.com/2017/10/crook-schembri-court-today-pleading-not-crook/">post</a> on her blog, <a href="https://daphnecaruanagalizia.com/">Running Commentary</a> (which is still available for online viewing) about the ongoing allegations against <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Schembri">Keith Schembri</a>, chief of staff to current Maltese Prime Minister <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Muscat">Joseph Muscat.</a>  
Schembri had been named in the Panama Papers, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama_Papers">documents anonymously leaked in 2015</a> that contained details of offshore transactions and companies set up by wealthy individuals across the globe, through now-collapsed <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mossack_Fonseca">Panamian law firm Mossack Fonseca. </a>  
<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konrad_Mizzi">Konrad Mizzi</a>, currently Minister for Tourism in Muscat's Labour Party government, was also named.  
According to the papers, Schembri <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Schembri">had set up an offshore oil company</a> in 2011, and Mizzi had acquired a Panamanian-registered company named <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konrad_Mizzi">Hearnville Incorporated.</a>  
While offshore transactions are not illegal in of themselves, reporters found that some of the corporations listed in the Papers were used for illegal purposes, such as <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama_Papers">fraud, tax evasion, and getting around international sanctions.</a>  
Both men, while they acknowledge ownership of these outfits, deny wrongdoing, and maintain that <a href="https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/malta-daphne/">these companies were only used to manage their private wealth.</a> Hannah Storm, the director of the<a href="https://newssafety.org/home/"> International News Safety Institute</a>, believes a greater EU role is necessary to direct the investigations to conclusion.
Caruana Galizia had also <a href="https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/malta-daphne/">accused the Prime Minister himself</a> of setting up an offshore company in the name of  wife, Michelle. These claims, which Muscat has called <a href="https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/malta-daphne/">"false and defamatory",</a> were never verified.  
In her final post, Caruana Galizia had written <a href="https://daphnecaruanagalizia.com/2017/10/crook-schembri-court-today-pleading-not-crook/">"There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate."</a>  
  "This is down to ensuring that every killing of a journalist is investigated thoroughly, impartially, and independently," she told <em>WikiTribune.</em>
  "The European Union and other bodies in Europe need to have a robust and open line of communication with law authorities in countries where journalists are attacked to make sure this is happening ... it’s not enough to wait until one of our colleagues is murdered or maimed. We need these individuals and bodies to advocate about the importance of press freedom and its crucial role in supporting democracy."
  "Without a guarantee of press safety, there cannot be press freedom, and without that democracy suffers," she said.
<h2>"A spiteful attack on a citizen and freedom of expression"</h2> <h2>Europe falls in Press Freedom Index</h2>
On the day of Caruana Galizia's death,  Prime Minister Muscat tweeted a pledge to catch her killers.  
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en">  
<p dir="ltr" lang="en">This is a spiteful attack on a citizen and freedom of expression. I will not rest until justice is done. The country deserves justice -JM</p>  
— Joseph Muscat (@JosephMuscat_JM) <a href="https://twitter.com/JosephMuscat_JM/status/919939609940905984?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 16, 2017</a></blockquote>  
<script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>  
With assistance from abroad, including <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-42221352">advice from U.S Federal Bureau of Investigation experts,</a> three Maltese men, <a href="https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/malta-daphne/">Albert DeGiorgio, his brother George, and Vince Muscat (no relation to the Prime Minister)</a> were subsequently arrested and charged with her murder.  
The trio, <a href="https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/malta-daphne/">who had been previously questioned in relation to bombings</a> up and down the island, had detonated the car-bomb by means of a "trigger-text" <a href="https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/malta-daphne/">sent by George DeGiorgio via mobile from a boat in the harbour of capital city Valletta. </a>  
The government also offered <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41677056">a million-euro reward for evidence leading to their conviction.</a> Daphne Caruana Galizia's three sons later <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41677056">refused to endorse this reward, and have repeatedly called for Prime Minister Muscat to resign.</a>  
Six months later, the DeGiorgio Brothers and Vince Muscat, <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-malta-carbomb-charges/three-charged-in-malta-for-murder-of-anti-corruption-journalist-idUKKBN1DZ346">who have all pleaded not guilty,</a> remain in custody, but a date still has not been set for their trial.  
<h2>Finding the "masterminds"</h2>  
Despite the Prime Minister's pledge, whoever orchestrated the murder also remains at large.  
EU politicians have recently called for wider investigations. Dunja Mijatovic, the European comissioner on human rights, this Wednesday told the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/18/daphne-caruana-galizia-murder-eu-politicians-demand-broader-inquiry-malta-police-chief">the Guardian</a> that "six months after her killing, it does not appear that the Maltese authorities have made any progress to identify the masterminds".   
This Tuesday, <a href="https://www.forbiddenstories.org/">Forbidden Stories,</a> a Paris-based organization composed of investigative journalists, launched the <a href="https://www.forbiddenstories.org/case/the-daphne-project/">Daphne Project </a>in an effort to <a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2018/04/17/free_speech/daphne-project-to-continue-work-of-maltese-journalist-daphne-caruana-galizia/64367/">chase down the leads Caruana Galizia had unearthed.</a>   
The project, which features 45 journalists from 18 organizations across 15 countries,<a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2018/04/17/free_speech/daphne-project-to-continue-work-of-maltese-journalist-daphne-caruana-galizia/64367/"> has gathered, compiled and prepared material relating to her death in the six months since.</a>   
Amongst this material is the first interview with Caruana Galizia's husband, Peter, who told the Guardian that he beleives whoever ordered his wife's murder is being protected.  
"It is clear to us that the three men arraigned so far are simply <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/17/malta-protecting-mastermind-journalist-daphne-caruana-galizia-says-husband">contractors comisssioned by a third party"</a>, he said.  
Malta's "integrity challenges include procurement irregularities, unresolved conflicts of interest among serving government ministers, and the revolving door between the island state’s close-knit political and business class", according to online corruption monitor <a href="http://transparency.eu/resource/malta-profile/">Transparency International. </a>  
"Malta is also the only country in the European Union to have an incumbent minister named in the Panama Papers revelations in 2016."  
<h2>A "contract killing" in Slovakia</h2>  
Jan Kuciak, like Caruana Galizia, had been investigating crime and corruption in his home country. His primary focus was  <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_J%C3%A1n_Kuciak">organized tax fraud and embezzlement of European Union funds</a> surrounding businesspeople close to former <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Fico">Prime Minister Robert Fico's</a> <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direction_%E2%80%93_Social_Democracy">Smer-SD party.</a>   
On March 6, a prosecutor had said that his and his partner's death showed signs of being a<a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-slovakia-crime-police/slovak-journalists-murder-was-contract-killing-prosecutor-says-idUSKBN1H2207"> "contract killing"</a>.   
<h2>"The Model, The Mafia, and the Murderers"</h2>  
Jan Kuciak's final article, titled <a href="https://www.politico.eu/article/jan-kuciak-last-story-italian-mafias-tentacles-reach-into-slovak-politics/">"The Model, The Mafia and the Murderers",</a> was unfinished at the time of his murder. The incomplete draft was posthumously published by a variety of Slovakian news outlets, and is still available for viewing on <a href="https://www.politico.eu/article/jan-kuciak-last-story-italian-mafias-tentacles-reach-into-slovak-politics/">Politico</a>.  
It claimed that Italian mafia group <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%27Ndrangheta">'Ndrangheta</a> had made inroads into Eastern Slovakia, after their exile from Italy. The central figure was one <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-slovakia-crime-italy/slovak-police-detain-italian-businessman-named-by-murdered-reporter-idUSKCN1GP26N">Antonino Vadala, </a>an Italian businessman with <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-slovakia-crime-italy/slovak-police-detain-italian-businessman-named-by-murdered-reporter-idUSKCN1GP26N">ties to two prominent figures</a> in Slovakia's government.  
Maria Troskova, state assistant to the Prime Minister and the titular 'model', and Viliam Jasan, head of crisis mangament and state security, <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-slovakia-crime-italy/slovak-police-detain-italian-businessman-named-by-murdered-reporter-idUSKCN1GP26N">reportedly had past business connections to Vadala</a>. Prime Minister Fico has also defended the two, who have both since temporarily left their posts, but deny any involvement in Kuciak's murder<a href="https://spectator.sme.sk/c/20770917/troskova-and-jasan-are-leaving-their-posts-at-governments-office.html"> (<em>The </em><em>Slovak Spectator).</em></a> In the most recent Press Freedom Index, compiled by Reporters Without Borders,<span style="font-weight: bold"> </span>Europe as a whole saw the <a href="https://rsf.org/en/rsf-index-2018-hatred-journalism-threatens-democracies">largest drop</a> in press freedoms, even as the region remains the safest for journalists. The index highlighted that leaders of some EU member states show signs of <a href="https://rsf.org/en/rsf-index-2018-journalists-are-murdered-europe-well">hostility to journalists and their work.</a>
<h2>"Lack of evidence"</h2>  
Vadala himself was <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_J%C3%A1n_Kuciak">arrested in connection with the murder by Slovak police on March 1,</a> along with his two brothers, his cousin and three other Italian nationals. All seven were subsequently <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-slovakia-crime/slovakia-releases-suspects-detained-over-journalists-murder-police-idUSKCN1GF07I">released without charge after 48 hours</a> due to lack of evidence.  
In an interview on March 6, Vadala <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-slovakia-crime-police/slovak-journalists-murder-was-contract-killing-prosecutor-says-idUSKBN1H2207">denied links to the Italian mafia or Slovak politicians</a>. He claimed Kuciak had <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-slovakia-crime-police/slovak-journalists-murder-was-contract-killing-prosecutor-says-idUSKBN1H2207">mistaken him for someone else with the same name</a>.  
Vadala was arrested again ten days later under, a Venice-issued European warrant, on an <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-slovakia-crime-italy/slovak-police-detain-italian-businessman-named-by-murdered-reporter-idUSKCN1GP26N">unrelated drug trafficking charge</a>. According to the Slovak Spectator, <a href="https://spectator.sme.sk/c/20806205/antonino-vadala-charged-with-subsidy-fraud.html">he is currently in custody in Slovakia</a>, awaiting trial for "subsidy fraud and attempting to harm the European community's financial interests".  
So far, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_J%C3%A1n_Kuciak">no-one has been charged</a> in connection with the murders of Jan Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova.  
<h2>"A brutal assault"</h2>  
TASR, the News Agency of Slovakia  released an article on the same day of Kuciak and Kusirovna's murders, calling them a<a href="https://newsnow.tasr.sk/crime/tasr-we-condemn-murder-of-jan-kuciak-as-attack-on-democracy/"> "brutal assault against representatives of the press"</a>.  
The murders were met with public protests. <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-slovakia-crime-march/thousands-march-for-slain-slovak-journalist-who-probed-corruption-idUKKCN1GE2OK">25,000 people marched in Bratislava and other Slovak cities on March 2, </a>and <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_J%C3%A1n_Kuciak">candles were left</a> outside the editorial offices of Aktuality.sk, where Kuciak had worked.  
The protests was endorsed by several universities in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, teachers, school associations, artists and non-governmental organisations. <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_J%C3%A1n_Kuciak">21 universities cancelled afternoon lectures</a> to allow students and employees to attend the protests.  
There have also been a series of high-profile resignations in recent months. <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_J%C3%A1n_Kuciak">Prime Minister Fico himself resigned on March 15. </a>The head of the Slovakian Police Corps, Tibor Gaspar, is also <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-slovakia-politics/slovak-protests-force-police-chief-to-quit-over-journalists-murder-idUSKBN1HO20U">set to resign in May.</a>  
Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament called on Slovakia to "launch a thorough investigation with international support if needed" and added that "<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_J%C3%A1n_Kuciak">the European Parliament will not rest until justice is done"</a>.  
As of April 18, the murder is now being investigated by an international team, approved by Slovak prosecutor-general Jaromir Cizar at the Hague (<em><a href="https://spectator.sme.sk/c/20807122/international-team-will-help-investigate-kuciaks-murder.html">The Slovak Spectator</a>).</em>  
<h2>"A shocking wake-up call"</h2>   
These two cases, while very similar in the sense that no-one has been found guilty of the murders, show a key difference.  
In Kuciak's case, while there have been high-profile resignations in Slovakia as a result, no-one has been charged with the murders.  
In Caruana Galizia's case, while suspects have been charged, there have been no resignations in Malta.  
  <div>Following the murders, Malta fell 18 places to 65th in the rankings, and Slovakia 10 places to 27th.</div>
  <div></div>
  <div>Nine other EU countries, including Hungary, Spain, and Denmark, also <a href="https://rsf.org/en/rsf-index-2018-journalists-are-murdered-europe-well">fell in the rankings this year</a>.</div>
But they are most important for shattering illusions of the EU as a safe place for investigative journalism. According to experts, this shows that the EU is not as safe for journalists as many had previously thought.
"It's clear that this shows reporting in and around Europe can be dangerous and difficult, far more so than many people realise," Rachael Jolley, the editor of <a href="https://www.indexoncensorship.org/">Index on Censorship</a> magazine, told WikiTribune.  "It's clear that this shows reporting in and around Europe can be dangerous and difficult, far more so than many people realize," Rachael Jolley, editor of <a href="https://www.indexoncensorship.org/">Index on Censorship</a> magazine, told <em>WikiTribune</em>.
"The two killings of investigative reporters within the EU in a six-month period is a shocking wake-up call for those who thought that the EU was relatively safe for journalists. Media professionals work under threat all the time." "The two killings of investigative reporters within the EU in a six-month period is a shocking wake-up call for those who thought that the EU was relatively safe for journalists. Media professionals work under threat all the time."
<h2>The EU must 'provide a safe, enabling environment for journalists'.</h2>  
Index on Censorship, along with 16 other organizations which promote press freedom, sent an <a href="https://ifex.org/europe_central_asia/2018/03/06/daphne-caruana-jan-kuciak/">open letter</a> to <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Claude_Juncker">Jean-Claude Juncker</a>, head of the European Comission, on March 16.  
  "We are definitely concerned about the legal process in Malta, where police are investigating the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia," she said.
"When journalists are killed, they are silenced and the public is deprived of their stories. In the cases of Ján Kuciak and Daphne Caruana Galizia stories about corruption, organized crime and abuse of power....we urge the European Commission to call on the governments of its member states to implement without any delay their existing commitments to provide a safe, enabling environment for journalists", <a href="https://ifex.org/europe_central_asia/2018/03/06/daphne-caruana-jan-kuciak/">they said</a>. "We would call on the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe), the EU, and the Council of Europe to keep a close watch on that trial to make sure it is carried out without the thoroughness that the family demand, and with the understanding that the eyes of the rest of the EU are upon them."
Antonio Tajani also tweeted on Thursday calling for 'concrete measures for the protection of investigative journalists'.  
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en">  
<p dir="ltr" lang="en">The murders of D.C. Galizia and Ján Kuciak are an open wound to our identity, based on freedom of expression. Today we call for concrete measures for the protection of investigative journalists. They are on the frontline of our democracy. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EPlenary?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#EPlenary</a> <a href="https://t.co/r9DIZym0c4">https://t.co/r9DIZym0c4</a></p>  
— Antonio Tajani (@EP_President) <a href="https://twitter.com/EP_President/status/986922516370345984?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 19, 2018</a></blockquote>  
<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>  
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