Viktoria Marinova: Arrest over Bulgarian journalist's murder

10 October, 2018, 11:22 | Author: Dominic Spencer
  • People take part in a vigil in memory of murdered Bulgarian TV journalist Viktoria Marinova in Sofia Oct. 8 2018.                        Getty

Severin Krasimirov left Bulgaria for Germany on Sunday, the day after the rape and murder, Bulgarian newspaper 168 Chasa reports. "Work with him is continuing", Teodor Atanasov, the head of Ruse regional police, said.

The Bulgarian government has indicated Marinova's attack was not about her work.

Marinova was not directly involved in the investigation, but her report on the two journalists touched on a sensitive topic in Bulgaria, which is seen as the most corrupt European Union member state.

Authorities have yet to find a motive behind the murder and said there was no evidence yet to connect her murder to her work.

Chief prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov said Monday that investigators were considering "all leads" including possible links to Marinova's professional activity.

"In certain countries there is just not enough enforcement of the law", Robert Mahoney, deputy executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, told NPR.

Three journalists have been killed in the European Union in the past year.


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

The first episode, which aired on 30 September, featured interviews with investigative journalists Dimitar Stoyanov from the Bivol.bg website and Attila Biro from the Romanian Rise Project.

Bulgarian police have detained a suspect in connection with the killing of investigative journalist Viktoria Marinova, whose body was found in a park in her hometown of Ruse four days ago.

Through a United Nations spokesperson, Secretary-General António Guterres called on "all governments to strengthen press freedom and ensure there is accountability for crimes committed against journalists".

Marinova 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. A Bulgarian investigative online media site went further, calling for an independent worldwide inquiry and saying corruption could compromise an investigation by Bulgarian law enforcement.

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".

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