Slovak police detain seven people over journalist's murder

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People in Prague, Brno and Ostrava gathered on Friday evening to pay tribute to the Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak and his girlfriend Martina Kušnírová whose execution-style murders, evidently in connection with his investigate reporting work, have rocked Slovakia.

Thousands flocked to candlelit anti-corruption protests and memorials held across Slovakia on Friday.

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

The bodies of 27-year-old Mr Kuciak and his girlfriend, Martina Kusnirova, were found on Sunday in their house in Velka Maca, east of the capital, Bratislava.

The murders shocked the country and led to protest marches in 25 cities.

The junior Most-Hid party said worldwide investigators should be invited to join local police to aid transparency, and also called on Interior Minister Robert Kalinak, a close ally of Fico, whose business acquaintances had been subjects of Kuciak's earlier articles, to resign.

The seven Italian businessmen named by Kuciak in his report, which was published posthumously earlier this week, are Antonino Vadala, 42, Sebastiano Vadala, 45, Bruno Vadala, 40, Diego Roda, 62, Antonio Roda, 58, Pietro C., 26 and Pietro C., 54).

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A male protester said the country is facing a serious situation.

Some of the protesters demanded the government's resignation.

The pair were due to marry in May.

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.

Roberti said the 'Ndrangheta, based in southern Italy, might have killed Kuciak and his partner in Slovakia because "there was no other way to silence" him.

He has also regularly attacked journalists in the past, calling them "dirty, anti-Slovak whores" and "slimy snakes".