Only four months after prominent Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was assassinated in a car bomb, Europe was hit with another similar murder - this time of young Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak, shot dead in his apartment along with his girlfriend.Lovin Malta spoke to Mirek Toda, editor of Slovak newspaper Dennik N, and is here drawing parallels between the two shocking murders. He focused on data and investigative journalism and, according to his editor, was a very reserved person who did not even want his photo published alongside his stories.Kuciak wrote about links between the Slovak government and organised criminals, including how Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico had hired former topless model and Miss Universe contestant Maria Troskova as his personal aide despite her lack of political experience.Kuciak discovered that Troskova had previously been a business partner of Antonino Vadala, an Italian with alleged ties to the notorious ‘Ndrangheta mafia.
However, at the time of her death, Caruana Galizia was also severely at odds with the Opposition’s new leader Adrian Delia.
Yet her selective mocking and probing into people's personal lives and physical appearances made her very much a pariah figure - adored by her fanbase but disrespected by the political class and the traditional media, some of whom refused to acknowledge her as a journalist and others who even refused to refer to her by name.
: Apart from a brief two-year period, Robert Fico has been Prime Minister since 2006.
He was most recently returned to power in 2016, but with a reduced majority - forcing him to enter into a coalition with three other parties.
The country has several small opposition groups, most of which are eurosceptic and anti-immigration.
The Slovak economy has boomed since the country joined the EU in 2004 and adopted the euro five years later, and is now the world’s largest carmaker.