The uncompleted article by the journalist that might have led to to his murder
This is the last article of Jan Kuciak before he was murdered on Sunday February 25, 2018.
He could not finish and publish the article because he and his partner Martina Kušnírová were murdered.
Aktuality.sk, in cooperation with the Investigative Journalism Investigative Research Center Investigace.cz, the Investigative Project of Italy Organization and the International Consortium of Investigative Centers, has re-drawn the "Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project" as people close to the 'Ndrangheta established in Slovakia.
The unfinished article by Ján Kuciak
"Fourteen years ago, an Italian called Carmine Cinnante arrived in the Slovak town of Michalovce. One morning, in his Fiat, he set out from the village of Novosad, some 40 km from Michalovce, where he had spent the night with his friend Lydia.
Cinnanante headed for Italy. He was accompanied by a Slovak man named Jan, whom he had promised to find work there. In the Michalovce region at that time one in four was unemployed.
As they drove along a dirt road between the villages of Porostrov and Ostrov in the district of Sobrance in the direction of the main road, they noticed a police patrol. Immediately they turned with their white Fiat Punto with Italian marks.
A policeman raised suspicion and stopped the car. In the back seat they found a wooden suitcase with a gun, a magazine and 50 rounds of ammunition. It was a functioning Czech type 26 machine gun with laser aiming device and remote production number. According to experts, the case was specially made for the transport of the weapon. Cinnante was charged with illegal weapons possession and sentenced to two years probation by the district court in Michalovce.
At that time, the prosecutor described the Italian as an "entrepreneur with a business in Slovakia in the field of agriculture".
The tentacles reach into the government
A few months later, the Italian police arrested Cinnante. The reason was weapon smuggling to Italy for the mafia boss Guirin Iona. Iona was the head of Belvedere Spinello, one of the clans of the then economically strongest mafia group, the 'Ndrangheta.
As files of the investigation show, Carmine Cinnante is also a member. A man whom the Slovak authorities knew only as an agricultural entrepreneur. But Cinnante is not the only Italian with ties to the mafia who found a second home in Slovakia.
They began to do business, received subsidies, received EU funds and, above all, made connections with influential people in politics right up to the Slovak government. At the same time, they had many problems with the law in their native Italy.
With the self-confidence of the mafia
In an agricultural cooperative between the villages of Dvorianka and Parchovany in the district of Trebisov, the business interests of mobster Carmine Cinnante coincided with Antonino Vadala. This also had difficulties with the police in his native Italy.
On Monday, 3 February 2003, the court in Reggio Calabria, southern Italy, had to decide on nine defendants in a case involving the Mafia clan Libri. The Libri clan is one of the most powerful within the Ndrangheta. Among the defendants was Antonino Vadala, originally from the village of Bova Marina, in the south of Calabria.
According to Italian investigators, it was Vadela who, at the request of the clan, had helped the mafioso Domenic Ventura to hide and escape. Ventura had been convicted of the brutal murder of a member of a rival gang.
Italian police had intercepted phone calls between Antonino Vadala and Francesco Zindato, a boss of the clan, in which both discussed the details of the action. Nevertheless, Vadala was acquitted in 2003 for lack of evidence.
In another case, the court describes a situation in which Antonino Vadala and two other men travel to Rome to "punish" an unknown person who "has harmed the clan".
"He (the boss of the clan, Francesco Zindato) gave the order to those he most trusted - including Antonino Vadala," explained the judge.
Vadala did not wait for the verdict in Italy. He found refuge and a new home in Slovakia.
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