Slovaks to rally across country in honor of slain journalist

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All seven people arrested in connection with the murder of the investigative journalist Jan Kuciak have been released, Slovakian police have said.

Mr Kuciak was looking into suspected Mafia links among Italian businessmen in eastern Slovakia when he was gunned down.

"During the legal timeframe - 48 hours - [police] checked and searched for facts needed for an indictment. After the 48 hours passed, the persons were released from detention", police spokeswoman Denisa Baloghova said in a statement, as quoted by Reuters.

The seven men were taken into custody Thursday when police raided houses allegedly linked to members of the Italian 'ndrangheta crime syndicate.

Journalist Jan Kuciak and his partner, Martina Kusnirova, were found shot in their house Sunday.

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Kuciak's murder has raised fresh concern about media freedom and corruption both in Slovakia and Europe.

Some 25 marches were planned on Friday in Slovakia to honour the murdered couple, including one in the capital, Bratislava, which President Andrej Kiska will attend.

The latest protests echoed a wave of anti-graft rallies by mostly young Slovaks past year demanding the dismissal of senior police officials and ministers in Fico's government for alleged foot-dragging on fighting corruption.

Kuciak's burial comes a day after his fiancee Martina Kusnirova was laid to rest in her wedding gown in the northern town of Gregorovce. The couple had been due to Wednesday in May.

Kuciak's funeral will be held on Saturday in the northern village of Stiavnik, near the Czech border. His last, unfinished article was published posthumously by Slovak and global media.

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The killings come less than five months after anti-corruption journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, died in a vehicle bomb on Malta.

Kuciak alleged that Troskova, 30, had ties to Vadala, purportedly involved with 'Ndrangheta.

A junior party in Fico's coalition government - the Most-Hid party of mostly ethnic Hungarians - has called for the resignation of Minister Robert Kalinak.

Fico once told journalists they were "dirty, anti-Slovak prostitutes", but he vowed his government was committed to the "protection of freedom of speech and the safety of journalists" in the wake of the murder.

"(But) we nonetheless think you should express regret and apologise for having insulted journalists on several occasions", Mr Deloire said.

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Deloire said other media watchdogs at the meeting can confirm the comments.