Bulgarian journalist murder suspect detained in Germany

Ruben Ruiz
October 10, 2018

Marinova, who was a board member of the Ruse-based TV station TVN - one of the most popular TV channels in north-eastern Bulgaria - had reported on an investigation into alleged corruption involving European Union funds.

An unnamed suspect, only described as a "Romanian citizen with a passport from Moldova", had been arrested in Marinova's murder, according to the national radio report.

The man - a Romanian - was being held for 24 hours, Atanasov said.

The body of 30-year-old Viktoria Marinova - who presented a current affairs talk programme called "Detector" for the small private TVN television in Ruse - was found on Saturday.

"Her death was caused by blows to the head and suffocation, and her mobile phone, auto keys, glasses and some of her clothing were missing", said Ruse regional prosecutor Georgy Georgiev.

Ms Marinova recently hosted two journalists investigating the embezzlement of European Union funds on a television show called Detector.

Atanassov told reporters that the man had not been named a suspect in the murder.

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A Bulgarian investigative online media site has gone further, calling for an independent worldwide inquiry, saying a Bulgarian investigation could be compromised by corrupt Bulgarian officials.

The police have said they are looking into all possible motives but the founder of Bivol.bg, whose reporters were on Marinova's last show, said he feared authorities were downplaying the likelihood of links to her work. "In no way, under any form, never have we received any threats - aimed at her or the television".

He said Marinova was linked to bivol.bg's investigations because its reporters had appeared on her show.

Journalists' groups and European leaders expressed shock at Marinova's murder.

In a July report on the state of media freedom in Bulgaria, Reporters Without Borders said, "Fortunately, no investigative journalists have been killed in Bulgaria for their work, but there are documented murder plans and attempts, cruel, execution-style, beatings, auto arson and bombs targeting investigative reporters".

Harlem Desir, media freedom representative for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) condemned the killing on Twitter, saying that he would closely follow the investigation. Caruana Galizia was killed in a vehicle bombing in October in Malta and Jan Kuciak was murdered in Slovakia in February.

Other reports by GizPress

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