Suspect in Bulgarian journalist slaying arrested in Germany

Lamar Ellis
October 10, 2018

Mahoney says that it is too early to say whether Marinova's killing falls into that category.

Bulgarian Interior Minister Mladen Mladenov described the murder as "exceptionally brutal" and said Marinova was raped before she was killed, according to state media.

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

In what would be her final show to air, Marinova addressed the constraints of practicing journalism in her country.

Azoulay said, "this is essential to defend freedom of expression and freedom of information in Bulgaria and, not least important, to ensure women's safety, dignity and freedom".

She had recently reported on an investigation into alleged corruption involving European Union funds and made her last appearance on TV on 30 September - the debut episode of a relaunched current affairs programme called Detector. She had been raped, beaten and suffocated. "Our thoughts remain with Viktoria Marinova's family and friends", he said in a statement. "A bow in her memory!"

The European Commission has called for a "swift and thorough investigation" into Ms Marinova's killing.

Journalists' groups and European leaders expressed shock at Marinova's murder. "Bulgarian authorities must employ all efforts and resources to carry out an exhaustive inquiry and bring to justice those responsible".

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While the reporter did not appear to have been intimately involved in uncovering the alleged fraud, her show touched on a sensitive subject in Bulgaria, where corruption is endemic.

CPJ reported that the two reporters were detained by Bulgarian police in September.

However, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov lashed out at global bodies and rights groups which had been quick to assume a political motive behind the murder.

"Her death was caused by blows to the head and suffocation, and her mobile phone, auto keys, glasses and some of her clothing were missing", Ruse regional prosecutor Georgy Georgiev said.

Harlem Desir, media freedom representative for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) condemned the killing on Twitter, saying that he would closely follow the investigation.

No link has been established to her work so far and Borissov criticized Bulgarians who he said had rushed to mention Bulgaria along with Malta and Slovakia, where journalists had been killed recently for their work. Last October, Daphne Caruana Galizia, one of Malta's best-known investigative journalists, was killed when a powerful bomb blew up her vehicle.

"This is a topic on which no other Bulgarian national media dared to report on", he told The Associated Press.

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