Bulgaria probes rape and murder of journalist Viktoria Marinova

Bulgaria probes rape and murder of journalist Viktoria Marinova

Bulgaria probes rape and murder of journalist Viktoria Marinova

Authorities in Germany arrested a suspect in the rape and killing of a Bulgarian television journalist whose work highlighted corruption in the East European country, officials said Wednesday.

Marinova, who was a board member of the Ruse-based TV station TVN - one of the most popular TV channels in northeastern Bulgaria - is the third high profile journalist to have been murdered in the European Union in a year and the fourth since the start of 2017.

The woman's vehicle keys, cell phone, glasses and some of her clothing were missing when her body was located.

Interior Minister Mladen Marinov said today that there is no evidence to suggest the killing was linked to Ms Marinova's work. In response to the charges, the Bulgarian government said Ezekiev and Dimitrova both had the right to take their case to court, but did not specify whether it had taken any action to protect them or press freedom. "A large amount of DNA had been obtained". She had last been seen earlier that day after she met a group of friends for breakfast. She had suffered blows to the head and suffocation, Ruse regional prosecutor Georgy Georgiev said.

The man has been charged in his absence with rape and murder, Tsatsarov said.

Hundreds of mourners, some tearful, placed candles, her portrait and roses - the national flower- at the foot of a monument in the town of Ruse on Monday night. Urgently call for a full and thorough investigation.

The German government condemned the "brutal and terrible murder" and urged "a fast investigation and that this awful event will be illuminated as comprehensively as possible".

"We can not state at this point that her murder is linked to her professional activity". Across Bulgaria, which has a population of a little more than 7 million, police reported 260 killings. In the United States, the murder rate in 2016 was 5.3 per 100,000.

Yordanov said his journalists were getting threats to their safety for reporting on government corruption.

Kuciak had investigated alleged fraud in European Union farming subsidies by an Italian organised crime group.

Teodor Zahov, the organisation's president, said in a statement that, "The pressure on independent media has been systematic for the past 10 years". "We can not have democracy without free press".

News agency reports about the killing were carried on several prominent global media, which cited other murders of journalists in European countries in 2018. "Freedom of the press is in acute danger in Europe if research into corruption ends in death".

In February 2018, Slovakian journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée were shot dead in their home.

Bulgarian media reported Monday that the park where Marinova was killed is adjacent to a psychiatric facility and authorities were investigating whether a patient could have been Marinova's attacker.

Investigative reporters who worked with her on her last report said they feared authorities were trying to "hide something" and warned it would be premature to rule out a motive connected with her work.

Daphne Caruana Galizia, Malta's best-known investigative reporter, was killed when a bomb blew up her auto in October past year and Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak was shot dead in February.

Related news

[an error occurred while processing the directive]