Bulgarian Police Probe Killing of TV Journalist

Body of 30-year-old Viktoria Marinova was found in a park after she had been raped and beaten; she recently launched an investigative news show

Bulgarian television journalist Viktoria Marinova
AFP

Bulgarian police are investigating the rape and slaying of a television reporter and presenter whose body was dumped near the Danube River.

Authorities discovered the body of 30-year-old Viktoria Marinova in the town of Ruse, northern Bulgaria, on Saturday.

Police said she had been brutally beaten, raped and strangled. Her body was found in a park near the river.

Interior minister Mladen Marinov said Monday there was no evidence to suggest the killing was linked to Marinova's work. "It is about rape and murder," he said.

Bulgarian police, however, said they are working on all possible scenarios, examining possible links to both her personal and professional life.

The media freedom representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Harlem Desir, called for a "full and thorough investigation," into Marinova's death.

Marinova was a director of TVN, a small TV station in Ruse, and presenter of two investigative programs.

Her final show was a program about Attila Biro, an investigative journalist with the Rise Project Romania, and a colleague from Bulgarian investigative site Bivol.bg. They were arrested in September south of Sofia during an investigation into the destruction of documents connected to suspected fraud involving European Union funds.

A vigil will be held for Marinova in the Bulgarian capital later Monday.