Miroslav Marcek, one of the suspects in the 2018 murder of Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak and his partner, Martina Kusnirova, admitted to the killing in the country’s court on 13 January.

“I am guilty. I knocked on the door, Mr. Kuciak opened, I shot him in the chest. Unfortunately, I saw that there was one more person, she ran into the kitchen and I shot her there”, the 37-year-old former professional soldier confessed.

However, Marian Kocner, the businessmen suspected for ordering the assassination, pleaded not guilty. Kuciak had been investigating his business activities, as part of a tax evasion carried out by the country’s business tycoons and political figures.

Zoltan Andrusko, accused of being an intermediary in the murder plot, was sentenced to 15 years in jail after agreeing a plea bargain.

Kuciak’s murder triggered large demonstrations which eventually led to PM Robert Fico and the country’s police chief stepping down, as well as to the election of anti-corruption activist Zuzana Caputova as president.

“I want to apologize to those affected for the harm that we have caused. Nothing can make up for that, there is no satisfactory apology. Seeing them on television, seeing their pain forced me to talk”, Marcek told the court.