Bulgarian investigative journalist Viktoria Marinova raped and murdered

10 October, 2018, 13:23 | Author: Carlos George
  • Police arrested a suspect Wednesday in the murder and rape of Bulgarian television journalist Viktoria Marinova Saturday

Bulgarian police questioned a Romanian man about the murder of TV journalist Viktoria Marinova on Tuesday but released him without charge and the country remains under global pressure to solve the crime.

Marinova's body was discovered on a riverside path in Ruse on Saturday. He left the country on Sunday, the interior minister told reporters.

"We are running out of live reporters to report on the dead ones", Drew Sullivan, editor and co-founder of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), warned of the danger to journalists.

It comes after Daphne Caruana Galizia, an investigative journalist from Malta, was killed in October previous year after a bomb blew up her vehicle and Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak was shot dead in February.

Interior Minister Mladen Marinov talking to reporters claimed that it was a rape and murder case and had nothing to do with her work as there are no evidence and no information that she had received threats.

"With oligarchs exercising a media monopoly and authorities suspected of corruption or organized crime links, journalists are exposed to many forms of pressure and intimidation when trying to perform their reporting duties in Bulgaria", says the press freedom advocacy group.

A vigil for the journalist is being held in the Bulgarian capital today.

Police continue to probe the death, with more details expected to emerge in the coming days.

He said it evidence suggested it was "a spontaneous attack, not premeditated".

Bulgarian authorities are requesting his extradition, she said.

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THE Bulgarian authorities are investigating the rape and murder of an investigative journalist in the northern city of Ruse, the third journalist to have been killed in the European Union (EU) within a year.

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

The journalist, who now fears for his own safety, described Ms Mainova as "extremely disciplined, ambitious" and said she was a "a person with an extreme sense of justice".

Sven Giegold, a German member of the Greens party in the European Parliament, said all of Europe should worry about Marinova's slaying.

Europe has seen the steepest decline in World Press Freedom Index regional rankings over the past year: Malta is now ranked 65th, down by 18 points, and Slovakia 27th, down by 10.

"The country has a bad image with regard to press freedom, but it's possible that there is no link to this case", said Svetoslav Terziev, opposition media analyst and journalism teacher.

Prosecutors said she had been raped and beaten with such force that her face was unrecognisable. Police said she had been strangled and her body was found in a park near the river.

The Bulgarian government has indicated Marinova's attack was not about her work.

It is not known if the killing is linked to the 30-year-old's work at a local television station, TVN.

Marinova was the host of Defector, a TV news program that launched its first episode on September 30.

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