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Journalist's death sparks no-confidence move against Slovakian leader

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BRATISLAVA, Slovakia -- Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico is facing a no-confidence vote as the fallout from the murder of an investigative journalist threatens to roil the country's politics.

Multiple opposition parties filed a motion on Wednesday for a no-confidence vote, a move that came as President Andrej Kiska accused the government of ignoring for years reports from the country's SIS secret service about the influence of Italian Mafia organizations in the country.

Earlier in the week, the politically unaffiliated Kiska called for a government reshuffle or fresh elections. No vote, election or reshuffle has been scheduled.

Journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee, Martina Kusnirova, were found dead in their home on Feb. 25, apparently three days after being shot. Kuciak had been investigating corrupt practices and profiteering among politicians.

The slain journalist's work made politically explosive statements connected to Fico himself: It suggested that Mafia members were able to channel their contacts and liaisons all the way into the premier's office, thereby gaining access to top-secret security information and becoming privy to planned security measures.

According to Kuciak, Fico's personal assistant, Maria Troskova, worked for Italian business owners who were allegedly linked to the Mafia and therefore known to the Italian judiciary.

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The murder has prompted political backlash against the sitting government. A series of protests are planned in the coming days. Fico, Kiska and the head of the legislature are set to meet Friday to try to find a way to calm the situation.

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