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Thousands of people took to the streets across Slovakia to protest against corruption after the murder of a journalist who reported on alleged links between organized crime gangs and people close to the government.

A funeral Mass for Kuciak was held at the church of St. Francis of Assisi in the town of Stiavnik in western Slovakia, with his parents, friends and fellow journalists packing the aisles.

Slovak police on Thursday detained several Italian businessmen named by Kuciak in his explosive report, which was published posthumously earlier this week, as investigators said his death was "most likely" linked to his reporting. A statement said that the suspects had been released because no evidence had emerged during their 48-hour detainment.

Media watchdogs, including Reporters Without Borders (RSF), are also criticizing Fico and other European leaders for their harsh rhetorical attacks against journalists. The murder prompted demands from Fico's coalition partners for the resignation of senior officials.

The bodies of 27-year-old Kuciak and Martina Kusnirova were found Sunday in their house in the town of Velka Maca, east of the capital, Bratislava. The distrust is strong as people believe politicians are abusing their power to amass personal fortunes.

The killings come less than five months after anti-corruption journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, died in a vehicle bomb on Malta.

Kuciak was gunned down as he was about to publish an article raising possible political links to Italian businessmen with alleged ties to the 'Ndrangheta supposedly operating in Slovakia.

It was published posthumously by Slovak and global media.

The allegations in the report triggered an angry rebuke from Fico, who showed reporters stacks of euro bills totalling the one-million-euro ($1.2-million) reward he has offered for information that could lead to the killers.

The FBI, Britain's Scotland Yard and Europol are helping with Slovak police with the investigation.

The party said Saturday it would meet on March 12 to decide whether to quit the coalition after Kalinak refused to step down on Saturday.

Fico once referred to journalists as "dirty, anti-Slovak prostitutes".

Christophe Deloire, RSF secretary-general told AFP he had asked Fico on Friday in Bratislava to "clearly express his regrets" for having publicly insulted journalists, something the RSF chief called "dangerous". The visit is scheduled to last until Friday, said German MEP Ingeborg Grassle.