Germany arrests man for Bulgarian journalist's murder

10 October, 2018, 11:49 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Bulgarian television journalist Viktoria Marinova's body was found in a park

Victoria Marinova was found murdered in a park in Ruse, a town on the Danube on the country's northern border, on Saturday.

Daphne Caruana Galizia, Malta's best-known investigative reporter, was killed when a bomb blew up her vehicle in October previous year and Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak was shot dead with his fiancee at their home in February.

The country's chief prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov, said "at this stage, we do not believe that the murder is linked" to Marinova's work as a journalist.

It is not ultimately known if Marinova's murder is linked to her journalism work.

"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.

Bulgaria's Prime Minister, Boyko Borissov, told reporters a "large amount" of DNA had been collected.

Marinova was a director of TVN, a TV station in Ruse, and a TV presenter for two investigative programs.

The place where Marinova was found dead, at the riverside, is frequented by fishermen and people going jogging.

"This is a topic on which no other Bulgarian national media dared to report on", he told The Associated Press on Monday.

Ms Marinova's death has also angered many in Bulgaria, where there is public frustration with corruption and an inefficient justice system that has been criticised by the European Commission.


TVN said in a statement: "With great pain and insurmountable grief the TVN's team is experiencing the loss of our beloved colleague Victoria Marinova and we pray for sympathy to the sorrow of her relatives and colleagues".

Vigils in Marinova's memory were held Monday evening in Ruse, the capital Sofia and other cities. Caruana Galizia was killed in a vehicle bombing in October in Malta and Jan Kuciak was murdered in Slovakia in February.

Following her killing, the owner of an investigative website that featured on the programme said he had received "credible" information that his journalists were in danger.

Bulgaria is regarded as one of the tail-lights in the European Union in matters of press freedom, ranking 111th out of a total 180 in this area, according to the NGO, Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

The crime has sparked worldwide outcry, with the OSCE's media freedom representative, Harlem Desir, calling for "a full and thorough investigation".

The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Bulgarian authorities to conduct a "rigorous, thorough investigation" into the killing. "Those responsible should be brought to justice immediately by the Bulgarian authorities", he said in a tweet.

According to the media reports, Marinova was raped, beaten and strangled.

Marinova, 30, hosted a TV show that featured two investigative journalists who were detained for their work on suspected fraud involving European Union funds.

"In the last six years, it's been an incredibly unsafe time to be a journalist", says Robert Mahoney the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) deputy executive director.

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