Friday 24 May 2019

Bulgarian TV journalist killed in 'spontaneous' sex attack - minister

Tribute: Flowers are placed in memory of TV journalist Viktoria Marinova in Ruse, Bulgaria. Photo: Reuters
Tribute: Flowers are placed in memory of TV journalist Viktoria Marinova in Ruse, Bulgaria. Photo: Reuters

Justin Huggler

A man has been arrested in Germany in connection with the rape and murder of the Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova, it was announced yesterday.

The Bulgarian government said it believed the well-known television journalist was killed in a "spontaneous" sex attack, and that her death had nothing to do with her work.

Severin Krasimirov, a 20-year-old Bulgarian national, was held by German police in Stade, near Hamburg, on Tuesday night at the request of Bulgarian authorities.

He has a criminal record for theft and was already wanted by police over another rape and killing, Bulgarian prosecutors said.

"We have enough evidence to link this person to the scene of the crime. There appears to be no connection to her work," said Mladen Marinov, the Bulgarian interior minister.

The death of Ms Marinova, who recently launched a talk show with a focus on investigative journalism, raised concerns that she may have been targeted for her reporting.

She was the third journalist to be killed in the European Union this year, and recently reported on alleged high-level corruption in Bulgaria.

Boiko Borissov, the Bulgarian prime minister, summoned foreign ambassadors to a meeting in Sofia to complain at what he said were false allegations of press intimidation in the country.

"I read monstrous things about Bulgaria in the past three days, none of which are true," he told a press conference before the meeting.

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.

"We are full of grief, pain and anger, but also with a determination to continue her work," he said.

Colleagues spoke of her charitable work and commitment to social causes such as support for disabled and disadvantaged children. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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