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

Viktoria Marinova

Marinova, who was a board member of the Ruse-based TV station TVN - one of the most popular TV channels in north-eastern Bulgaria - had reported on an investigation into alleged corruption involving European Union funds.

The individual being held over the killing of Ms Marinova is a "Romanian citizen with a passport from Moldova", according to unconfirmed reports from Bulgaria's interior ministry broadcast on national radio.

Authorities in Bulgaria, the EU's poorest member state plagued by rampant corruption, earlier revealed that Marinova had been killed by blows to the head and from suffocation, and had also been raped.

Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, said attacks on journalists erode fundamental human rights to freedom of expression and press. He said the country's top murder investigators had been sent to Ruse to work on the case.

In a segment aired on September 30, Marinova interviewed two Romanian journalists who were investigating several politicians and businessmen for alleged corruption of European Union funds.

Interior Minister Mladen Marinov said investigators had found DNA evidence on the clothes and body of Viktoria Marinova, who was raped and strangled on Saturday in the northern town of Ruse.

Led by the anticorruption group BOETS, the demonstrators pledged to continue protesting daily until the journalist's killer is found. "Again a courageous journalist falls in the fight for truth and against corruption", the EU Commission's vice president Frans Timmermans tweeted late Sunday.

Turkey investigates claims that Saudis killed journalist
Hunt said he was seeking urgent answers about the fate of Khashoggi, one of the highest-profile critics of the Saudi leadership. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged the conflicting reports about the safety and whereabouts of Khashoggi.

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

The first episode, which aired on 30 September, featured interviews with investigative journalists Dimitar Stoyanov from the Bivol.bg website and Attila Biro from the Romanian Rise Project.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has condemned the "brutal" killing of investigative reporter Victoria Marinova, declaring it as outrageous.

Instead, the attack seems to have been a spontaneous sexual assault, chief prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov said, adding that all possibilities were still being considered.

At the Ruse vigil, telecoms technician Venelin Rumenov, 27, told AFP: "I don't think that she had been threatened or anything".

Mr Yordanov said his journalists were getting threats to their safety for this reporting.

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