February 17, 2019

Viktoria Marinova: Arrest in Germany for rape and murder of Bulgarian journalist

10 October 2018, 05:46 | Devin Moran

Viktoria Marinova was found dead at the weekend after going missing while out jogging Getty Images

Viktoria Marinova was found dead at the weekend after going missing while out jogging

Teodor Atanassov, the chief police officer of the northern town of Ruse, told reporters the man - who has not been identified - would be freed "very shortly".

The body of Marinova, who worked for broadcaster TVN, was found on Saturday near a pedestrian alley in an area with heavy vegetation, Bulgarian state media reported. A Bulgarian investigative online media site went further, calling for an independent global inquiry and saying corruption could compromise an investigation by Bulgarian law enforcement.

Police are investigating the rape and slaying of Marinova, 30, who was strangled.

Bulgarian prosecutors announced late Monday they had opened an investigation into GP Group, a large private Bulgarian building company alleged to have misused the European Union money.

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

Marinova's killing was widely-condemned on Twitter by fellow journalists and watchdog groups.

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

Bulgarian law enforcement is investigating all possible theories, but has warned people not to jump to groundless conclusions.

A Romanian citizen detained as part of an investigation into the murder of Bulgarian TV journalist Viktoria Marinova was released without charge on Tuesday night.

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

The body of 30-year-old Viktoria Marinova was found near the Danube River; it is not known if her death is linked to her work.

The two men were briefly detained on 13 September south of the capital Sofia, as they investigated a tip where documents connected to suspected fraud involving European Union funds were being shredded and destroyed.

On Monday the town's regional prosecutor, Georgy Georgiev, said Ms Marinova had suffered blows to the head and was suffocated in the fatal attack, adding that her "mobile phone, vehicle keys, glasses and part of her clothes were missing".

Bulgaria has been under pressure since the murder of Marinova, whose last report covered the theft of money from EU-funded projects.

"Viktoria's death, the brutal manner in which she was killed, is an execution", Yordanov said.

The Interior Ministry of the German state of Lower Saxony confirmed that a 20-year old suspect has been arrested in the city of Stade in the home of relatives' on Tuesday night and was due to be brought before a magistrate on Wednesday.

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