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.
Thursday’s judgment shocked the victims’ families, who left the courtroom in tears, and also drew criticism from political leaders.
The prosecutor who brought the charges appealed the verdict, sending the case to the country’s Supreme Court, which can uphold the ruling or order a new trial.
“The only thing I can say is I’m disgusted,” the journalist’s father, Jozef Kuciak, told reporters.