Viktoria Marinova: Arrest over Bulgarian journalist murder

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30-year-old Viktoria Marinova is pictured at a local television station in BulgariaPicture copyright
EPA / TVN RUSE

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Ms Marinova is the third high-profile journalist to be killed within the EU this yr

A person has been arrested in Germany in reference to the rape and homicide of Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova.

Bulgarian officers say a person named Severin Krasimirov has been detained at their request.

The nation’s Inside Minister, Mladen Marinov, mentioned the suspect was a DNA match for proof recovered on the crime scene.

Bulgarian authorities mentioned there was no proof to recommend the assault was linked to Ms Marinova’s work.

She had not too long ago hosted a TV programme by which two investigative journalists mentioned alleged fraud involving EU funds and distinguished businessmen and politicians.

Nevertheless, chief prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov mentioned the assault appeared to have been a spontaneous sexual assault, including that every one potentialities have been nonetheless being thought of.

What do we all know of the suspect?

Severin Krasimirov left Bulgaria for Germany on Sunday, the day after the rape and homicide, Bulgarian newspaper 168 Chasa reviews.

Bulgarian officers mentioned he was recognized to police and was suspected of attacking Viktoria Marinova whereas she was jogging in a park on the financial institution of the River Danube within the northern metropolis of Ruse.

Her physique was discovered within the park on Saturday. Her cell phone, keys, glasses, and a few of her garments have been lacking, prosecutors say. A few of her private belongings have been allegedly present in his flat.

He has been accused of rape and homicide and can face extradition underneath a European arrest warrant.

German police mentioned the 20-year-old man had been detained in Stade, close to Hamburg. His mom is claimed to reside within the city.

A person detained on Tuesday in Bulgaria was launched with out cost.

Who was Viktoria Marinova?

She was a presenter on a present affairs speak programme referred to as Detector on the TVN channel, and her final present had lined alleged corruption involving EU funds.

Picture copyright
AFP

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Flowers and candles for Viktoria Marinova within the metropolis of Ruse

The 2 investigative journalists on that programme, Attila Biro and Dimitar Stoyanov, have been themselves arrested in September whereas wanting into the case.

These particulars led to widespread hypothesis that Ms Marinova’s demise may need been linked to her work as a journalist.

Suspicions stay

BBC Monitoring

This homicide has shocked the nation and reignited the talk about freedom of the media in Bulgaria.

Regardless of investigators downplaying – if not ruling out – the potential of the crime being associated to Ms Marinova’s work, fellow journalists level out that there are deep suspicions a few political dimension. That’s due to a “horrible” media environment the place the harassment of journalists is frequent.

Journalist Albena Bachvarova writes in ClubZ.bg that regardless of calls from Europe for a swift investigation, it stays to be seen if Brussels will preserve strain on Bulgaria – or whether or not it can return on specializing in larger issues, like Hungary and Poland.

She was the third high-profile journalist to be murdered within the EU previously yr:

  • In October 2017, Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a automotive bomb close to her residence
  • In February this yr Slovakian journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova have been shot lifeless

On Monday, a whole bunch of mourners in Bulgaria held vigils for Ms Marinova.

However Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov defended his nation’s document, insisting that journalists have been free to report in Bulgaria.

“In three days, I’ve learn monstrous issues about Bulgaria – none of them are true,” he mentioned of the worldwide reporting on Ms Marinova’s homicide.

Bulgaria ranks 111 out of 180 nations on the Press Freedom Index – the bottom of any EU member within the Press Freedom Index.

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