Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Bulgarian broadcast journalist raped and murdered

Viktoria Marinova a Bulgarian TV journalist was raped and murdered prosecutors and the interior minister said Viktoria Marinova a Bulgarian TV journalist was raped and murdered prosecutors and the interior minister said More
Ivan Hill | 09 October, 2018, 08:44

Harlem Desir, the media freedom representative of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), wrote on Twitter: "Shocked by horrific murder of investigative journalist Victoria Marinova in #Bulgaria". He said Marinova was linked to bivol.bg's investigations because its reporters had appeared on her show.

A colleague at her employer, the private TV station TVN, confirmed Marinova's death to RFE/RL, but declined to say anything more pending an official statement from the station.

Local media focused on Marinova's recent TV interview with Bulgarian journalists Attila Biro and Dimitar Stoyanov who were investigating alleged large-scale fraud by companies involved in EU-funded infrastructure projects.

In Ruse, many told AFP they had known Marinova personally as she had been active with charities in the town on the Danube. Prosecutors said she had been raped, then beaten and suffocated.

Interior Minister Mladen Marinov was later quoted by news agency Focus as saying that Marinova had been sexually assaulted.

"The best criminologists have been sent to Ruse - let's not hurry them", Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said. They were arrested in September south of Sofia during an investigation into the destruction of documents connected to suspected fraud involving European Union funds.

Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov concurred.

The killings were part of a wider trend, according to Dimitrios Papadimoulis, a left-wing Greek MEP, who said "corruption is threatening democracy" in Europe.

A journalists' group has called for an investigation into the "brutal" slaying of a Bulgarian television reporter and presenter, but warned against speculating about the motive for her killing.

The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Bulgarian authorities to conduct a "rigorous, thorough investigation" into the killing.

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Bulgaria ranked 111 out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders world press freedom index this year, lower than any other European Union member.

Last October, Daphne Caruana Galizia, Malta's best-known investigative journalist, was killed when her auto was blown up by unknown persons.

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.

"We are in shock", the man said, asking not to be named since he was not authorized to speak publicly.

He said: "It is about rape and murder". Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak was shot dead along with his fiancee in February after he reported on corrupt ties between Slovak officials and Italian mobsters.

"Again a courageous journalist falls in the fight for truth and against corruption", Frans Timmermans, vice president of the European Commission, said Monday in Brussels.

She is the third reporter in the E.U.to be murdered in the past year.

Jourova and MEPs have visited Malta and Slovakia to keep an eye on police enquiries, but no one has been brought to justice yet.

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

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