Suspect In Bulgarian Journalist's Rape, Murder Arrested In Germany

Hugh Fox
October 10, 2018

The interior minister, Mladen Marinov, added that investigators had found DNA evidence on the clothes and body of Ms Marinova, who was raped and killed on October 6 in the northern Bulgarian city of Ruse.

Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who investigated local government corruption, was killed in October 2017 by a auto bomb. Reports says prosecutors are probing all leads both personal and those linked to Marinova's job.

The European Commission has demanded a rapid investigation to bring her killers to justice.

Hundreds of journalists protested against government threats against the nations biggest broadcasters - with deputy prime minister Valeri Simonov accusing them of leading a "smear campaign".

And Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said Sunday that authorities were working together alongside the "best forensics" team to solve the murder.

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The Committee to Protect Journalists EU (CPJ) has called Marinova's death "barbaric" and has called for Bulgaria to "employ all efforts and resources to carry out an exhaustive inquiry and bring to justice those responsible".

Marinova was an administrative director of Ruse's small private TVN television and had recently launched a new current events talk show called "Detector". Previously she hosted a lifestyle program and was involved with charity work.

"This is a topic on which no other Bulgarian national media dared to report on", he told The Associated Press. Reportedly, Marinova was on a practice run when she was attacked and murdered. "It was meant to serve as an example, something like a warning", Yordanov added.

She 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.

Following her killing, the owner of an investigative website that featured on the programme said he had received "credible" information that his journalists were in danger.

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Bulgaria tumbled to 111th place in the annual RSF media freedom ranking in 2018 - the lowest among European Union member states.

"Those responsible must be held to account", Harlem Desir, a representative for media freedom at the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, wrote on Twitter, urging a full investigation.

Indian journalists have been facing abuse, intimidation and attacks since years, with cold-blooded killings of Gauri Lankesh in 2017 or Ram Chander Chhatrapati - who tried to expose the rape culture at Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's Dera Sacha Sauda, 16 years back. Reporters Without Borders said they were arrested after taking pictures of evidence tied to the misuse of European Union money by Bulgarian firms.

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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