Published: Tue, October 09, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Matthew Castillo

Bulgarian TV host Victoria Marinova raped and killed

Bulgarian TV host Victoria Marinova raped and killed

Georgy Georgiev, the special prosecutor of Ruse, said she was killed by blows to the head and suffocation.He added that Marinova's cell phone, vehicle keys, glasses and some clothes were missing.

Marinova was a director of TVN, a small TV station in Ruse, and a TV presenter for two investigative programs. Police said she had been beaten, raped and strangled.

Germany called Bulgarian law-enforcement authorities to carry out "a quick and comprehensive investigation" into Marinova's murder, stated Deputy spokesperson of German Foreign Ministry Christofer Burger on October 8. The two men were briefly detained September 13 south of Sofia as they investigated a tip that documents connected to suspected fraud involving European Union funds were being destroyed.

Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov said: 'We do not exclude that it was a random attack, we do not exclude that it was a premeditated attempt on her life'.

The European Commission vice-president, Frans Timmermans, said he was "shocked" by the murder.

The killings were part of a wider trend, according to Dimitrios Papadimoulis, a left-wing Greek MEP, who said "corruption is threatening democracy" in Europe.

Hundreds of people flocked to Ruse's main square to put flowers in front of a picture of Marinova, with some in the crowds urging the authorities not to play down the possibility her work was a reason for the killing.

Reporters Without Borders, which ranked Bulgaria 111 out of 180 countries in its world press freedom index this year, called for an urgent investigation into the murder.

Caruana Galizia was killed in a vehicle bombing in October in Malta and Jan Kuciak was murdered in Slovakia in February.

Though it wasn't immediately clear whether the killing was connected to Marinova's professional work, her death prompted a concerned response from reporting organizations in Europe. He said there was no evidence to suggest the murder was related to Marinova's work and there was no information that she had been threatened.

Bulgarian Interior Minister Mladen Mladenov described the murder as "exceptionally brutal" and said Marinova was raped before she was killed, according to state media. In no way, under any form, never have we received any threats - aimed at her or the television, ' an anonymous journalist from TVN said, adding that he and his colleagues feared for their safety.

"CPJ is shocked by the barbaric murder of journalist Victoria Marinova", CPJ European Union Representative Tom Gibson in Brussels told CNN.

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".

Only one segment of the relaunched program aired before her death. And in February, Jan Kuciak, a Slovakian journalist who also reported on government corruption, was shot and killed along with his fiancee, Martina Kusnirova. He declined to answer reporters' question about whether there was signs she had been sexually assaulted.

Giegold said, "First Malta, then Slovakia, now Bulgaria".

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