Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Man to be freed in slain Bulgarian journalist investigation

Viktoria Marinova was raped and murdered Viktoria Marinova was raped and murdered
Freda Brock | 10 October, 2018, 11:23

But even as investigators worked to establish a motive and apprehend a suspect, competing narratives emerged about whether Marinova had been targeted for her journalism or whether she was the victim of a random crime.

The presenter's body was found dumped in a park in the city of Ruse, close to the banks of the Danube River, on Saturday.

Some of the mourners in the capital went on to protest against corruption in front of the Palace of Justice and called for the resignation of the government and chief prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov, reports said.

The minister described the murder as "exceptionally brutal" and said Marinova was raped before she was killed.

Bulgarian interior minister Mladen Marinov initially denied that Marinova's murder was linked to her reporting, and said there was no evidence she had been threatened.

Speaking under the condition of anonymity, a TVN journalist told Agence-France Presse, "We are in shock".

Bulgarian media reports said that over the previous year Marinova had reported on an ongoing investigation into alleged corruption involving European Union funds for the broadcaster TVN.

European leaders have expressed their shock at the killing.

Tito Mboweni as finance minister: what it means
Nene's appointment to Ramaphosa's Cabinet this year was widely welcomed as a break from the alleged plundering of state resources. Nene had committed "errors of judgment" but was not personally implicated in any wrongdoing, Mr.

He quoted Mr Juncker as saying previously that "too many" journalists are being intimidated, attacked or murdered and that "there is no democracy without a free press".

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 a year ago.

She interviewed the reporters behind the probe, investigative journalists Dimitar Stoyanov from the Bivol.bg website and Attila Biro from the Romanian Rise Project. He said the country's top murder investigators had been sent to Ruse to work on the case.

Reporters Without Borders ranks Bulgaria last in the European Union for press freedom.

But Bivol.bg owner Asen Yordanov said he had received credible information his journalists were in danger of being assaulted because of the investigation that featured on Ms Marinova's show.

While the reporter did not appear to have been intimately involved in uncovering the alleged fraud, her show touched on a sensitive subject in Bulgaria, where corruption is endemic.

Bivol.bg owner Assen Yordanov said he couldn't directly link Marinova's slaying to her work, but noted her show tackled "our very sensitive investigation into the misuse of European Union funds".

"Investigative journalists are being systematically removed", she said.

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