TV journalist brutally raped and murdered in Bulgaria


Police investigators walk near a crime scene where TV journalist Viktoria Marinova was murdered in Ruse, Bulgaria on October 7, 2018.

Bulgaria's chief prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov named the suspect as Severin Krasimirov, born in 1997, and said he was already sought in connection with another rape and murder.

While Marinova didn't appear to have been closely involved in the fraud investigation, her show touched on a sensitive subject in Bulgaria, where corruption is endemic.

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.

"It is about rape and murder", Marinov said.

Through a United Nations spokesperson, Secretary-General António Guterres called on "all governments to strengthen press freedom and ensure there is accountability for crimes committed against journalists".

The Post reported on Tuesday night, citing a person familiar with the investigation, that before Khashoggi's disappearance, USA intelligence intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture him.

Marinova's beaten and strangled body was found in the bushes by the banks of the Danube River in the northern Bulgarian city of Ruse, police said.

RSF called for other journalists at the station to have police protection while the investigation takes place.

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But constituents in ME have told a different story since Collins' speech last Friday, in which she suggested that Dr. Collins pointed to three cases in which the judge repeatedly cited in his confirmation hearing as guiding lights.

The first episode of her programme, aired on September 30, featured an investigation into alleged fraud involving European Union funds linked to oligarchs and politicians.

Last October, prominent Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who exposed the Maltese prime minister's offshore dealings in the Panama Papers scandal, died in a vehicle bomb attack.

In what would be her final show to air, Marinova addressed the constraints of practicing journalism in her country.

Last October, Daphne Caruana Galizia, Malta's best-known investigative journalist, was killed when a powerful bomb blew up her vehicle and Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak was shot dead in February.

In February 2018, Slovakian journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée were shot dead in their home. "There is no democracy without a free press. we expect a swift and thorough investigation to bring those responsible to justice", the European Commission said in a tweet.

Bulgaria is regarded as a laggard in the European Union in matters of press freedom, ranking 111th out of a total 180 in this area, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Police have said the killings were connected to Kuciak's work, and they recently arrested several people suspected of involvement, including one man authorities believe was a paid hit man.

Investigative Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak was shot in the head, and a critic of Malta's government, Daphne Caruana Galizia, was killed in a grisly vehicle explosion. One participant, Kristina Petkov, said Bulgarians now had "zero" trust in authorities.

Europe has seen the steepest decline in World Press Freedom Index regional rankings over the past year: Malta is now ranked 65th, down by 18 points, and Slovakia 27th, down by 10.

"We are shocked and saddened by the horrific murder of journalist Viktoria Marinova".