Bulgarian arrested in Germany, charged with journalist's murder

Bulgarian arrested in Germany, charged with journalist's murder

Bulgarian arrested in Germany, charged with journalist's murder

The two men were briefly detained on September 13 south of Sofia as they investigated a tip that documents connected to suspected fraud involving European Union funds were being destroyed. "We're still checking his alibi so he is not officially a suspect for committing the crime yet", Ruse police chief commissioner Teodor Atanasov told journalists.

Bulgarian authorities have released the Romanian citizen they had detained earlier on Tuesday, sources in the Romanian Police told Mediafax.

Marinova, a 30-year-old presenter on a local TV station with a 7-year-old daughter, had been raped, beaten and suffocated, police said.

Ruse regional prosecutor Georgy Georgiev said Marinova, 30, had suffered blows to the head and was suffocated in the fatal attack, adding that her "mobile phone, vehicle keys, glasses and part of her clothes were missing".

Marinova was killed by blows on the head and suffocation, the authorities said, adding that prosecutors were probing all leads - both personal and linked to Marinova's job.

The minister described the murder as "exceptionally brutal" and said Marinova was raped before she was killed.

Ivan Stefanov, the NTV channel producer who worked with Marinova on her on "Detector" show said he did not think the murder was linked to her work and that neither of them had received any threats.

The attack has shocked the country and drawn global condemnation amid speculation the murder could be linked to Marinova's work as a journalist.

Last October, Daphne Caruana Galizia, one of Malta's best-known investigative journalists, was killed when a powerful bomb blew up her auto. "It is unacceptable that in Europe journalists are getting killed again", he said, referring to the killings of two other investigative journalists in those European Union countries.

Her body was found dumped near the Danube River in the town of Ruse, northern Bulgaria, on Saturday.

The Commission urged Bulgaria to conduct a rapid investigation and the USA embassy said it was shocked by the "horrific murder".

Bulgarian authorities are requesting his extradition, she said.

No link has been established to her work so far and Mr Borissov criticised Bulgarians who he said had rushed to mention Bulgaria along with Malta and Slovakia, where journalists had been killed recently for their work. Tsatsarov said the evidence suggested it was "a spontaneous attack, not premeditated".

"Shocked by the horrendous murder of Victoria Marinova".

"Again a courageous journalist falls in the fight for truth and against corruption."

Transparency International, a global corruption watchdog, has identified Bulgaria as the most corrupt member state in the EU. Many were stopping on Tuesday to put flowers to commemorate Marinova, who left a seven-year-old daughter.

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