Thursday 13 December 2018

Suspect in Bulgarian journalist’s death ‘makes partial confession’

The claim was made by German police.

A photo of Viktoria Marinova (Filip Dvorski/AP)
A photo of Viktoria Marinova (Filip Dvorski/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

The suspect arrested over the death of a Bulgarian television journalist has confessed to the attack but denies raping and robbing her, prosecutors in Germany have said.

The Celle prosecutors office said the suspect, who has been identified in Bulgaria as 21-year-old Severin Krassimirov, told them he had not meant to kill TV reporter Viktoria Marinova.

Prosecutors say the suspect confessed to being under the influence of alcohol and drugs when he got into an argument with a woman he did not know in a park.

They say he told them he hit her in the face and threw her into bushes but “denied the intent to kill”.

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Tributes for reporter Viktoria Marinova (Filip Dvorski/AP)

Prosecutors said Krassimirov, who was held on Tuesday in Germany on a European arrest warrant, will be extradited within the next 10 days.

Marinova’s body was found on Saturday near the Danube River in the northern Bulgarian town of Ruse. She had been raped and strangled.

Prosecutors said the suspect confessed to hitting her in the face and throwing her into bushes but denied intending to kill her and raping and robbing the woman.

Marinova hosted a show last month featuring two investigative journalists who were detained for their work on suspected fraud involving European Union funds.

While Marinova did not appear to have been closely involved in the fraud investigation, her show touched on a sensitive subject in Bulgaria, where corruption is endemic, and there was widespread speculation that she may have been targeted for her work as a reporter.

Prosecutors said in their statement, however, that based upon their questioning of the suspect, “a political background (to the crime) cannot be drawn from his confession”.

Celle prosecutors also approved his extradition to Bulgaria, which they say will take place within the next 10 days.

Press Association

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