The much-anticipated trial of the Slovak businessman Marian Kocner begins in December concerning the assassination of investigative reporter Jan Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kusnirova.

Kocner is accused of hiring three men for the hit against the 27-year old Kuciak, also killing his fiancé as they gunned them down outside their home in Bratislava in February 2018. Kocner and two of his alleged accomplices have pleaded not guilty while the fourth suspect has confessed to the shooting. A fifth has admitted to acting as a facilitator, entered a plea, and will testify for the prosecution.

The case prompted mass anti-corruption demonstrations forcing the resignation of then prime minister Robert Fico.

The trial comes ahead of a general election on Feb. 29, with polls showing a slide in support for the ruling SMER party and the continuous rise of the far-right.