Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

Bulgaria detains suspect over killing of journalist

Marinova’s killing has shocked the country and drawn international condemnation AFP pic Marinova’s killing has shocked the country and drawn international condemnation AFP pic
Lora Ball | 10 October, 2018, 11:22

No link has been established to Marinova's work, but her death has angered many in the Balkans country where people are frustrated with corruption and an inefficient judiciary that has been criticized by the European Commission.

Bulgarian interior minister Mladen Marinov initially denied that Marinova's murder was linked to her reporting, and said there was no evidence she had been threatened.

Marinova's death also drew worldwide calls for a rapid and resolute action, with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urging governments to ensure "accountability" for crimes against journalists such as the Bulgarian journalist's "grisly murder and rape".

Vigil commemorating Victoria Marinova in Sofia on Monday.

It remains unclear whether Marinova was killed as a result of her work.

In a statement from the United Nations cultural agency's headquarters in Paris, Azoulay added: "Attacks on journalists erode the fundamental human right to freedom of expression and its corollaries, press freedom and free access to information".

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

Ms Marinova recently hosted two journalists investigating the embezzlement of European Union funds on a television show called Detector.

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Viktoria Marinova's body was found on Saturday in a park in the northern city of Ruse, near the River Danube.

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.

The murder case has shocked fellow journalists and sparked global condemnation.

Ms Marinova was a director of TVN, a small TV station, and a TV presenter for two investigative programmes.

"I see deliberate attempts to marginalize this killing and manipulate the public opinion that Viktoria was a victim of a random attack or sexual manslaughter", Assen Yordanov said, adding that Marinova was the only TV journalist who had agreed to host his website's journalists to discuss the investigation.

He said Marinova was linked to bivol.bg's investigations because its reporters had appeared on her show.

Following the programme hosted by Ms Marinova, Bulgaria's interior ministry said prosecutors were investigating GP Group, a large construction company alleged to have misused the European Union money, and froze €14m in assets. The journalist said he and his coworkers feared for their safety.

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