Suspect arrested in murder of Bulgarian journalist, report says

Danny Woods
October 10, 2018

Bulgarian police have briefly detained a Romanian citizen over the murder of Bulgarian investigative journalist, Viktoria Marinova.

Bulgarian authorities are investigating the rape and murder of an investigative reporter in the northern city of Ruse, the third journalist to have been killed in the European Union in the past year.

Romanian police confirmed on Tuesday night that a Romanian citizen detained for questioning in the case of TV journalist Viktoria Marinova's slaying was released by authorities in Bulgaria.

Marinova was raped and strangled, and her body found on Saturday near the Danube River after she highlighted possible government corruption.

Ruse Regional Prosecutor Georgi Georgiev told state media that Marinova's mobile phone, auto keys, glasses and part of her clothing were missing when her body was found.

Bulgarian prosecutors announced on Monday night that they have started a probe into the alleged embezzlement of European Union funds by GP Group, a construction company that the two investigative reporters were researching.

Ms Marinova had presented a recently relaunched current affairs programme called Detector for the TVN television channel in Ruse.

The minister said investigators had spoken to Marinova's family and friends and "there is no apparent link to her work".

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Authorities in Bulgaria, the EU's poorest member state plagued by rampant corruption, earlier revealed that Marinova had been killed by blows to the head and from suffocation, and had also been raped.

Bulgarian TV reporter Victoria Marinova was raped and brutally murdered in Ruse, northern Bulgaria, last week.

Atanassov told reporters that the man had not been named a suspect in the murder. "In no way, under any form, never have we received any threats - aimed at her or the television".

Marinova is at least the third journalist to have suffered a violent death in the European Union alone over the past 12 months, after Jan Kuciak in Slovakia in February and Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta in October previous year.

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

Bivol.bg owner Asen Yordanov told AFP that "Viktoria's death, the brutal manner in which she was killed, is an execution". "It was meant to serve as an example, something like a warning".

European leaders have expressed their shock at the killing.

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