Published: Wed, October 10, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Bulgarian TV journalist probing misuse of European Union funds raped and murdered

Bulgarian TV journalist probing misuse of European Union funds raped and murdered

Police and prosecutors said they were working on three possible motives - whether Marinova was a victim of a random attack by a person with a mental disorder, a planned attack or whether the crime was linked to her personal life.

Marinova is the third journalist killed in the European Union in less than a year, after Daphne Caruana Galizia from Malta and Jan Kuciak from Slovakia.

The woman's auto keys, cell phone, glasses and some of her clothing were missing when her body was located. The best criminologists have been sent to Ruse, let's not hurry them. "A large amount of DNA has been obtained".

Marinova's body was discovered on a riverside path in Ruse on Saturday.

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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"I strongly hope that the truth will soon be uncovered, her perpetrator or perpetrators found and justly punished", Teodora Shopova said after lighting a candle at the vigil.

The brutal crimes shook Ruse, where murders are rare. The Balkan nation joined the European Union in 2007 and was ranked 71st on Transparency International's corruption list a year ago.

Police continue to probe the death, with more details expected to emerge in the coming days.

In 2016, there were 1.1 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in Bulgaria.

Also on the minds of press freedom advocates is the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi critic and Washington Post contributor, who vanished last week after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. More than 10 years after joining the bloc, it has reported only limited progress in turning the tide against graft.

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EURACTIV has reported about this corruption case in November 2015. Kuciak's reporting and his slaying brought down the Slovak government.

"Corrupt institutions can arrest you on an ID check, start criminal or tax investigations against you, scare you in interviews, or even have you fired".

Marinova's murder was condemned by press freedom organizations, including Harlem Désir of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. "So, absolutely no version is underestimated", he said, according to state media.

The man, who wasn't identified, would be freed "very shortly", said Teodor Atanassov, chief police officer of the northern town of Ruse. In their words, they were witnesses of wide-scale exportation and annihilation of documents from offices of a consultant company that dealt with the selection of contractors for executing the European projects.

"There is physical evidence to link to the murder,"Marinov said Wednesday".

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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. "Those responsible should be brought to justice immediately by the Bulgarian authorities", he said. "And there is rampant impunity, which means that you can sometimes silence a critical journalist or close down an investigation by having that journalist killed".

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