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Bulgarian Investigative Journalist murdered

10 October, 2018, 12:36 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • Bulgarian television journalist Viktoria Marinova's body was found in a park

A journalist who reported on alleged fraud involving the misuse of European Union funds has been found murdered in northeastern Bulgaria, authorities said on October 7.

The German government condemned her "brutal murder" and said it is imperative "that there's a fast investigation and that this frightful event will be illuminated as comprehensively as possible".

She had also been raped.

But early Wednesday, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and Interior Minister Mladen Marinov told reporters that investigators had interviewed her family, colleagues and friends that "there is no apparent link to her work". "We continue to work on all versions", said Marinov, the Interior Minister.

The Guardian reported that Bivol.bg owner Asen Yordanov had told AFP that his media had received credible information that its journalists were in danger of being assaulted because of the investigation that also appeared on Marinova's show.

The prosecutor general, Sotir Tsatsarov, said on Monday that while nothing was being ruled out, it was unlikely that Marinova's killing was connected to her work, reports the Times. "But we are continuing to look at all hypotheses".

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

The two had been investigating alleged fraud with European Union funds linked to big businessmen and politicians when they were detained by armed Bulgarian police for more than seven hours in mid-September as they followed up on a tip that crucial documents were being burned in a field outside the capital, Sofia.

Her death comes after Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a vehicle bomb in Malta in October 2017, and reporter Ján Kuciak was shot dead at his home in Slovakia in February this year.

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"In just three days, I've read monstrous things about Bulgaria".

They did not offer any new details about the case after their meeting with the local authorities.

"We, as a country, did not deserve to be smeared like this. while everyone has been working (to solve the crime) not 100, but 1,000 percent".

Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans said he was shocked by the murder.

Through a United Nations spokesperson, Secretary-General António Guterres called on "all governments to strengthen press freedom and ensure there is accountability for crimes committed against journalists".

In the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index, Bulgaria is rated 111 out of 180 countries, the lowest of any country in the EU. She had been beaten, raped and strangled, according to local media.

Corruption is endemic in Bulgaria, a Balkan nation that joined the European Union in 2007 and was ranked 71st on Transparency International's corruption list a year ago.

Police and prosecutors are investigating the death of 30-year-old Viktoria Marinova, who hosted a show on the regional TVN channel.

Several hundred people, many in tears, attended a vigil in Ruse's central square, lighting candles and laying flowers in front of a portrait of Marinova.

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