A protest rally on the first anniversary of the murder of Slovakian journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée (Image: EPA)

The assassination of Slovakian journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée at their home near Bratislava two years ago exposed a web of organised crime, shady businessmen and political corruption that shook Slovakia to the core.

His posthumous articles found links between Italy’s powerful ’Ndrangheta mafia group and senior politicians, involving a prosaic-sounding but lucrative European Union agricultural scam.

“The Italian mafia came to Slovakia and started land-grabbing for agriculture subsidies,” said Czech centre-right MEP and EU budget committee rapporteur Tomas Zdechovsky.