8th October, 2018
Victoria Marinova, a Bulgarian TV presenter and administrative director who worked in a local television channel, TVN was found dead on Saturday near the Danube river bank in the northern Bulgarian town of Ruse. Bulgarian police confirmed on Sunday that the 30 –year old TV host had been killed after raped, beaten and then strangled.
Bulgarian authorities reported that the victim’s body was found by a passer-by on Saturday evening and her body was identified by her family that evening. A local prosecutor, Georgi Georgiev, told reporters that her mobile phone, car keys, eyeglasses, and some of her clothing were missing. Some of her personal items were scattered near the walkway, and her body was found lying several meters away from one of her shoes. A Bulgarian news site, Rusemedia.bg, said Marinova may have been jogging at the time, training for an upcoming road race.
Several months ago, she became the host of an investigative program called "Detector." The most recent show featured interviews about alleged corruption involving private companies misspending European Union funding.
The Bulgarian website Terminal 3 pointed out in the last aired report, Marinova interviewed with the Romanian investigative journalist Atila Biro from Rise project and his Bulgarian colleague, Dimitar Stoyanov, from Bivol.
The topic was the recent arrest of the two reporters by police near the town of Radomir, south of Sofia, while they were investigating the destruction of documents that allegedly implicated consultancies linked to infrastructure company GP Group in manipulating EU tenders.
At a press conference held on Sunday, the head of the Ruse prosecution office, Georgi Georgiev and the vice-director of the local police, Ilian Enchev stated that it is so far unclear if the murder was related to Marinova’s professional work.
A journalist is killed on average every week around the world, according to figures compiled by RSF. Victoria Marinova is the fourth journalist killed in the EU since 2017 after Kim Wall in Denmark, Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta and Jan Kuciak in Slovakia.
Bulgaria ranks at 111 in the annual World Press Freedom Index ranking in 2018, which is the lowest among the EU member countries.
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