Hungary's Orban Says George Soros Behind Mysterious Death of Slovak Journalist

Viktor Orban, who staged an aggressive campaign against Soros in the past, says that the businessman was involved in the controversial death of Jan Kuciak

FILE PHOTO: Billionaire George Soros speaks at an event on day three of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 25, 2018.
Bloomberg

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban accused Hungarian-born Jewish American billionaire George Soros Sunday of having a hand in the mysterious and controversial death of Slovakian investigative journalist Jan Kuciak.

Kuciak, 27, was found shot dead along with his fiancée in his apartment near Bratislava on February 25. His death came hours after he published an article linking Slovakia's top politicians to the Italian mafia.

Kuciak's article, entitled "The Model, the Mafia and the Murderers" was published with the Czech Center for Investigative Journalism, the Investigative Reporting Project Italy and Aktuality.SK, a group of investigative reporters in Slovakia with whom Kuciak had been working. It linked leading Slovakian officials to an Italian crime organization named 'Ndrangheta.

"I see George Soros and his organizations' fingerprints on the events in Slovakia," Orban charged. "I don't doubt it for a minute that this network does everything to overthrow governments opposing migration," the Hungarian premier was quoted as saying by Hungarian media outlet 24.hu.

Front pages of various Slovakian newspapers reflecting on the murder of Slovak investigative journalist Jan Kuciak.
Michal Smrcok/AP

Orban's controversial remarks come as Slovakia continues to reel from the journalist's surprising death, which tens of thousands of Slovakians protested over in the streets several days ago, denouncing it as a corrupt attempt to silence the journalist and calling for the government to be overthrown over the what they deemed to be a violent murder.

The Hungarian premier staged a nationwide television and billboard campaign against Soros last year, accusing him of standing behind Europe's refugee crisis. "Let's not let Soros have the last laugh" was the catchphrase at the center of Orban's campaign, which many have said was anti-Semitic in nature.

Soros has repeatedly fended off such accusations (which were levelled at him even by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after his government faced a wave of criticism over its plan to deport thousands of African asylum seekers).

Soros called attempts to frame him as a leader of movements against immigration "lies and distortions" meant to frame him as an outside enemy for his nation to unite against.