Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Investigative journalist found raped and murdered in Bulgaria

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
Freda Brock | 09 October, 2018, 08:45

Ms Marinova, who is the third investigative reporter to be murdered in Europe in the past year, recently hosted two journalists investigating European Union fund embezzlement on her television show.

Marinova was a presenter with the TVN broadcaster for the show "Detektor". Attila Biro, editor of the Romanian investigative website Rise Project, and Dimitar Stoyanov, of the Bulgarian site Bivol, were arrested in the Sofia suburb of Pernik on 14 September and held for six hours.

In Ruse, many told AFP they had known Marinova personally as she had been active with charities in the town on the Danube.

"I am shocked by the horrific murder of investigative journalist Viktoria Marinova in Bulgaria", Désir. said in a statement.

"It is unacceptable that in Europe journalists are getting killed again", he said, referring to the slayings of two other investigative journalists in those European Union countries.

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. Authorities are working to identify witnesses and potential motives for her murder. Last month she began anchoring a program called "Detector", which focused on political investigations.

A journalist is killed on average every week around the world, according to figures compiled by RSF.

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

Marinova was partially undressed and, as it was concluded during the investigation, raped, reports Russian BBC office.

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Police said they had three possible motives including that she was attacked by someone with a mental disorder, that the attack was planned, or that it was linked to her personal life.

Interior Minister Mladen Marinov confirmed that Marinova had been raped and said there are now no links between the crime and Marinova's work as a journalist.

Dujarric told reporters at United Nations headquarters in NY "there's been a very worrying increase of violence, sexual and otherwise, that's particularly targeting women journalists".

"It is unacceptable that in Europe journalists are getting killed again", said Sven Giegold, a German member of the Greens in the European Parliament, according to the Associated Press.

Widespread corruption, shady media ownership and suspected collusion between journalists, politicians, and oligarchs have made objective reporting a constant obstacle course, RSF said. Her death follows the alleged slaying of a Washington Post journalist in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

It was not clear whether the murder was linked to Marinova's journalistic activities, Balkan Insight reported.

Reporters Without Borders warned a year ago about a suspected murder plot against a Bulgarian publisher, Georgi Ezekiev. And in February, Jan Kuciak, a Slovakian journalist who also reported on government corruption, was shot and killed along with his fiancee, Martina Kusnirova.

Marinova is the fourth high-profile journalist to be killed in Europe since the beginning of 2017.

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