Three years ago last night, a young Slovak journalist named Jan Kuciak, who was collaborating with us on a story, was murdered in cold blood in his home. His fiancee was also shot dead.
At the time, Jan was investigating the doings of Marian Kočner, a brash and famously corrupt businessman. After a sensational trial, Kočner was found not guilty of ordering Jan's murder (though prosecutors are appealing).
But, ironically, Kočner has been sentenced to 19 years in prison for fraud — the very same story that our colleague Jan was just beginning to unravel.
He never got to finish it, but we @OCCRP and our Czech partner @investigace_cz did. Based on his own text messages, here's how Kočner pulled strings across Slovakia's justice system to win cases worth millions.…
This earlier story from last year details Kočner's rise to the top.…
And here's how the Slovak people's reaction to Jan's murder changed their country.…

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More from @ichbinilya

26 Aug 20
Prigozhin, now fully a comic book villain, buys the debt of Navalny and his Anti-Corruption Foundation, so that they now owe him 88 million rubles.

"I intend to strip naked the members of this group of unscrupulous people," he says.
"If Comrade Navalny dies, I will personally not pursue him in this world. I'll let it lie for a while. But later I'll get into it with full pleasure. If he lives, he must answer in the full measure of Russian law."
The debt relates to a legal case brought against Navalny and his team by a Prigozhin company. Navalny had published an investigation showing that the company was delivering bad food to Moscow schools and kindergartens.
Read 8 tweets
20 Aug 20
Navalny is not only Russia's leading opposition politician — he's also, in effect, one of the country's top investigative journalists.

His video investigations, which are always exceptionally produced to be clear and understandable to ordinary people, are exemplars of the genre
He follows the money, highlights unearned wealth, and explains how it all fits into the corrupt system Putin has built. He has enemies everywhere, and not just at the very top.
That's why it's *way* too early to speculate about who may have poisoned him (if indeed he really was poisoned!).

Just please don't jump to "PUTIN DID THIS" without evidence. That's not always how things work, and this may indeed prove to be very awkward and tricky for Putin.
Read 4 tweets
10 Oct 19
The @WSJ is reporting that two Giuliani associates have been arrested on campaign finance charges. Here’s a thread of fun facts about this Florida duo (and it’s not just about campaign finance stuff). /1
Lev Parnas, 47, once ran an electronics business that was successfully sued for its role in a fraudulent penny stock promotion scheme (though he wasn't personally charged). He also has a history of unpaid debts, including $500k owed to a Hollywood movie investor. /2
Igor Fruman, 53, has spent much of his career in Ukraine, and has personal ties to Volodymyr Galanternik, a powerful operator known as the “Grey Cardinal” of the notoriously corrupt port city of Odessa. /3
Read 9 tweets
5 Mar 19
1/ This week, after months of work by many dozens of people, @OCCRP began publishing the first stories in a big series: The #TroikaLaundromat, which uncovers a secret mechanism that moved billions of $, mostly out of Russia, around the world.
2/ Here's the first story, which explains how and by whom the system was built, how it works, and who used it. We tried to be careful to show that it had many uses — not just money laundering. (Some retellings of our story are already getting this wrong.)…
3/ This second story, which just came out today, goes into a specific user — an Austrian man who facilitated the functioning of the Laundromat, got in too deep, came to regret it, and ended up dead.…
Read 10 tweets
15 Jan 19
A bit late on this, but Russia’s prestigious Levada Center (@levada_ru), an independent polling organization, released an interesting summary at the end of last year of what’s been up in Russian public opinion. Here’s a quick thread with the highlights. /1
The main takeaway is this: The authorities’ attempts to keep the population focused on the country’s “greatness” are starting to fail, in light of living standards that are slowly but steadily falling. /2
This “greatness” narrative (the article uses the nearly untranslatable term “великодержавный настрой населения”) encompasses state patriotism, confrontation with the West (especially the US), an emphasis on Russia’s “special path,” and traditional values. /3
Read 11 tweets
5 Mar 18
Here's @OCCRP's latest project -- the culmination of months of work by a huge, talented team. It's a cross-border investigation into how the world's wealthiest people can literally buy citizenships in other countries. /1…
This is a very direct and tangible consequence of inequality. Some people drown in the Mediterranean trying to reach a new European home. Many get kicked out if they make it. Others can just pay money - sometimes a surprisingly small amount - and boom. Schengen visa. /2
Here's a video explaining the project. Read on for the country stories. /3
Read 19 tweets

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