A Bulgarian television journalist who had presented a program about fraud and corruption in her country was found raped and murdered on Saturday, police said.
The body of Viktoria Marinova, 30, was found in a park in the northern town of Ruse. 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, car keys, glasses and some clothes were missing.
Interior Minister Mladen Marinov confirmed that Marinova had been raped and said there are currently no links between the crime and Marinova’s work as a journalist.
“It is about rape and murder,” Marinov said.
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Marinova was the host of Defector, a TV news program that launched its first episode on Sept. 30. That episode featured two journalists — Dimitar Stoyanov from the Bivol.bg website and Attila Biro from the Romanian Rise Project — and their investigation into alleged fraud between Romanian politicians and business people, according to the Guardian.
Marinova’s murder was condemned by press freedom organizations, including Harlem Désir of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
“I am shocked by the horrific murder of investigative journalist Viktoria Marinova in Bulgaria,” Désir. said in a statement. “I will closely follow the investigation opened by the authorities. I urge them to swiftly identify and bring to justice those responsible and to clearly determine whether this attack was linked to her work.
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Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said he expects law enforcement will find the suspect.
“Thanks to the large amount of DNA material collected it is just a matter of time before the perpetrator will be found,” he said.