European commission urges Bulgaria to find journalist's killers

08 October, 2018, 19:10 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Bulgarian television journalist Viktoria Marinova's body was found in a park

Bulgaria has been shocked by the brutal murder of journalist Viktoria Marinova, who was found dead in a park on Saturday afternoon.

Marinova's last show included an interview with two journalists who were arrested last month while working on a graft probe related to European Union funding.

At the time of her death, the journalist had been involved in covering an investigation by a group of Bulgarian journalists into companies involved in EU-funded infrastructure projects administered by local authorities, according to local reports. But a Bulgarian investigative online site owner called for an independent global inquiry.

She died after doing a TV report on alleged fraud involving European Union tenders and Bulgarian infrastructure firm GP Group, according to the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), an EU-funded NGO in the region.

"Viktoria's death, the brutal manner in which she was killed, is an execution".

It comes after Daphne Caruana Galizia, an investigative journalist from Malta, was killed in October a year ago after a bomb blew up her vehicle and Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak was shot dead in February. "A large amount of DNA has been obtained", Borisov said.

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

Marinova was a board member for television station TVN based in Ruse. Kuciak had been investigating alleged political corruption at the time.

The murder was condemned by the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Desir, who called for a "full and thorough invetigation".

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on Sunday he is personally looking into reports that Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian journalist for the Washington Post, may have been killed while visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week.

Interior Minister Mladen Marinov said that there was no evidence to suggest a link to Marinova's work as a journalist so far - something echoed by police and prosecutors.

He quoted Juncker as saying previously that "too many" journalists were being intimidated, attacked or murdered and "there is no democracy without a free press". "It was meant to serve as an example, something like a warning".

TVN said in a statement: "With great pain and insurmountable grief the TVN team is experiencing the loss of our beloved colleague Victoria Marinova".

Kim Wall, a Swedish journalist, was decapitated in August 2017 while conducting an interview on a submarine owned by inventor Peter Madsen, who was later convicted of the crime. Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a auto bomb in October 2017 while investigating corruption among Malta's ruling elite.

Hundreds of journalists protested against government threats against the nations biggest broadcasters - with deputy prime minister Valeri Simonov accusing them of leading a "smear campaign".



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