BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Slovakia on Wednesday to solve the slayings of an investigative journalist and his fiancee that triggered a political crisis in the country.
Merkel made the comments alongside new Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, who was on his first official trip to Berlin. Merkel said she "made clear that we want and expect, but I think Slovakia is doing ... everything to be done to investigate" the killings.
Journalist Jan Kuciak, who was investigating possible widespread government corruption, and Martina Kusnirova were shot dead Feb. 21.
The slayings led to the resignation of Interior Minister Robert Kalinak, who was linked to corruption scandals. That was followed by the resignation of the entire coalition government.
Merkel also asked Slovakia to provide information about the kidnapping of a Vietnamese businessman last summer.
Trinh Xuan Thanh, the former chairman of PetroVietnam's construction arm, was snatched off a Berlin street in July only to reappear in Vietnam, where he was given two life sentences earlier this year for embezzlement.
German authorities say the kidnapping was carried out by Vietnamese intelligence. Vietnam claims that Thanh, who was seeking asylum in Germany, returned voluntarily.
Daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported Sunday that Slovakia allowed visiting Vietnamese officials to borrow a government plane to fly from Bratislava to Moscow last July. It wasn't clear who was aboard.
Merkel said she had been assured of Bratislava's help in the case, adding that it "weighs heavily on German-Vietnamese relations."