Suspect arrested after Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova raped and murdered

Elias Hubbard
October 10, 2018

"Work with him is continuing", Teodor Atanasov, the head of Ruse regional police, said.

Police said a Romanian citizen of Ukrainian origin was being detained for 24 hours while his alibi is checked.

Marinova served as a member of the management team of the private television station TVN and hosted an investigative program.

Bulgarian police investigating the killing of journalist Viktoria Marinova have detained a man.

The interior ministry said prosecutors were examining the GP Group, the company alleged to have misused European Union money, and froze $16 million of its assets. The interior minister said they froze $16 million of the company's assets.

The body of 30-year-old Viktoria Marinova was found on Saturday near a pedestrian alley in an area with heavy vegetation, Bulgarian state media reported.

She had recently been working on corruption allegations against businessmen and politicians.

Bulgarians light candles during a vigil in memory of Viktoria Marinova in the city of Ruse on Monday
Suspect arrested in murder of Bulgarian journalist, report says

The interior minister Mladen Marinov and a spokeswoman for the town's chief prosecutor were scheduled to hold a press conference later Tuesday afternoon. She had also been raped.

Atanassov told reporters that the man had not been named a suspect in the murder. "In no way, under any form, never have we received any threats - aimed at her or the television".

Led by the anticorruption group BOETS, the demonstrators pledged to continue protesting daily until the journalist's killer is found.

Ruse Regional Prosecutor Georgi Georgiev told state media that Marinova's mobile phone, vehicle keys, glasses and part of her clothing were missing when her body was found.

Ms Marinova's final show was a programme about Attila Biro, an investigative journalist with the Rise Project Romania and a colleague from the Bulgarian investigative site Bivol.bg, Dimitar Stoyanov.

In a July report on the state of media freedom in Bulgaria, Reporters Without Borders said, "Fortunately, no investigative journalists have been killed in Bulgaria for their work, but there are documented murder plans and attempts, cruel, execution-style, beatings, vehicle arson and bombs targeting investigative reporters". Harlem Desir, the media freedom representative for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, demanded a "full and thorough investigation" of Marinova's slaying. According to the Reporters Without Borders world press freedom index, Bulgaria ranks lower than other European Union member.

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.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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