Suspect in Bulgarian journalist slaying arrested in Germany

12 October, 2018, 14:06 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Suspect in Bulgarian journalist slaying arrested in Germany

A Romanian citizen detained as part of an investigation into the murder of a Bulgarian TV journalist will be released without charge, a senior Bulgarian police official said on Tuesday.

Prosecutors in the northwestern German state of Lower Saxony said the suspect was arrested on Tuesday evening outside the city of Hamburg on a European arrest warrant.

Prosecutors have said the 30-year-old journalist, who was a presenter and anchor at a local television station, had been raped, beaten, and suffocated.

Marinova's body was found in a park in Ruse on Saturday.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov (center) speaks next to chief prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov (right) and Interior Minister Mladen Marinov in Sofia on October 10.

Authorities say Marinova died from blows to the head and suffocation.

Ivan Stefanov, the NTV channel producer who worked with Marinova on her on "Detector" show said he did not think the murder was linked to her work and that neither of them had received any threats.

While Ms Marinova did not appear to have been closely involved in the fraud investigation, her show touched on a sensitive subject in Bulgaria, where corruption is endemic.

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In October 2017, Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a auto bomb near her home, while in February this year Slovakian journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova were shot dead. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, an intergovernmental organization, called for a "thorough investigation" of her rape and murder, noting "a trend of increased attacks against female journalists".

Marinova, 30, had reported on an investigation into corruption of European Union funds shortly before she was raped and brutally murdered in the northern town of Ruse on the Danube river, according to Bulgarian authorities. Tsatsarov said the evidence suggested it was "a spontaneous attack, not premeditated".

On her last aired TV show, on September 30, Marinova introduced two journalists who were investigating alleged corruption involving European Union funds.

Mr Borissov said journalists in Bulgaria had "total freedom to write and report on any topic".

Viktoria Marinova, 30, was found dead over the weekend in Ruse, a town near the Bulgarian border with Romania, after disappearing while she was out jogging on a riverside path.

The Commission's Vice President Frans Timmermans said he was shocked by the horrendous murder.

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was "very concerned" about Marinova's murder, adding that he awaited the conclusions of the investigation into her killing.

Local people held a candlelight vigil overnight and many left flowers to commemorate Marinova, who left a seven-year-old daughter.

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