Bulgarian man detained in Germany over rape and murder of journalist

Bulgarian man detained in Germany over rape and murder of journalist

The body of the 30-year-old journalist, who police said had been raped, beaten and suffocated, was found on Saturday.

Police in Germany have arrested a suspect in the rape and killing of Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova, officials said.

Mladen Marinov, the Bulgarian interior minister said yesterday there was no evidence to suggest the killing was linked to the journalist's work.

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.

Marinova's murder was condemned by press freedom organizations, including Harlem Désir of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

"He has been charged in absence for two crimes - rape and premeditated murder with extreme cruelty", he said.

It was unclear why the pair was detained, but the incident took place just a day after Bivol and RISE published the first part of their investigation alleging massive corruption in EU-funded projects in Bulgaria. The European Union and the United States have urged Bulgaria to bring the killer to justice. And Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said Sunday that authorities were working together alongside the "best forensics" team to solve the murder.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

Widespread corruption, shady media ownership and suspected collusion between journalists, politicians and oligarchs have made objective reporting a constant obstacle course, according to RSF.


A woman places flowers next to a portrait of slain television reporter Viktoria Marinova during a vigil at the Liberty Monument in Ruse, Bulgaria.

She is the third journalist to be murdered in Europe in the past 12 months after Jan Kuciak in Slovakia in February and Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta in October 2017.

Bulgarian officials emphasised that there was no evidence yet to connect Marinova's killing to her work.

The investigation included known criminals with a predilection for violence while checks also were being carried out at the city's psychiatric hospital regarding patients prone to severe aggression, Atanassov said.

The Post reported on Tuesday night, citing a person familiar with the investigation, that before Khashoggi's disappearance, US intelligence intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture him.

In September 2018, the Committee Against Assault on Journalists (CAAJ) in New Delhi organised National Convention Against Assault on Journalists where notable Indian journalist weighed in on difficulties faced by journalists during the current BJP regime under PM Modi.

She worked for a popular local TV station, TVN, which noted in a statement that it was experiencing "great pain and insurmountable grief".

"As security - rather than the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms - becomes the number one priority of governments worldwide, broadly-written security laws have been twisted to silence journalists", wrote Index on Censorship's Jodie Ginsburg past year. He accused the mainstream media of leading a "massive smear campaign" against him.

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