Bulgarian mother says her son killed female TV journalist

Bulgarian mother says her son killed female TV journalist

Police in Germany arrested a suspect in connection with the rape and killing of Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova, whose brutal slaying on Saturday elicited global condemnation and accusations that the 30-year-old had been targeted for her investigative journalism. "But Ms. Marinova's murder has led the European Commission to more closely examine Bivol.bg's findings, and to urge Bulgaria's authorities to shed more light on the case".

Bulgarian Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov said on Wednesday that the motive was likely sexual assault and "at this stage, it cannot be said that the murder is related to the professional activity of the victim".

The body of 30-year-old Marinova - who presented a current affairs talk programme called Detector for the small TVN television channel - was discovered on a riverside path in the northern Bulgarian town of Ruse on Saturday. "Shocked by horrific murder of investigative journalists Victoria Marinova in #Bulgaria", read a tweet from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Police said she had been strangled and her body was found in a park near the river. Her professional identity as a host on TVN, a local television program, focused on investigative journalism and immediately stoked fears about retributions against journalists exposing corruption schemes, especially in Eastern Europe. She had been mugged, raped and murdered.

Vigils in Marinova's memory were held Monday evening in Ruse, the capital Sofia and other cities. "Viktoria's death, the brutal manner in which she was killed, is an execution", Yordanov said.

Corruption is endemic in Bulgaria, a Balkan nation that joined the European Union in 2007 and was ranked 71st on Transparency International's corruption list previous year.

Bulgarian Interior Minister Mladen Marinov said "sufficient evidence has been seized, linking the detainee directly with the crime scene and the victim", including DNA evidence.

Marinova's final show on September 30 was a program about Attila Biro, an investigative journalist with the Rise Project Romania, and Dimitar Stoyanov from the Bulgarian investigative site Bivol.bg.

Yordanov said his journalists were getting threats to their safety for reporting on government corruption.

"This is a topic on which no other Bulgarian national media dared to report on", he told The Associated Press.

He quoted Juncker as saying previously that "too many" journalists were being intimidated, attacked or murdered and "there is no democracy without a free press".

"First Malta, then Slovakia, now Bulgaria".

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