Bulgarian journalist investigating European Union corruption found brutally murdered

Bulgaria Bulgarian Authorities Investigating Killing Of TV Reporter

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Harlem Desir, the media freedom representative of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), wrote on Twitter: "Shocked by horrific murder of investigative journalist Victoria Marinova in #Bulgaria".

As Bulgarian authorities investigate whether the rape and killing of Viktoria Marinova was a random crime or connected to her investigative reporting, the case has turned a spotlight on impediments to a free press in a country where journalists are often subjected to intimidation and threats.

"With enormous pain and insurmountable grief the team of TVN television is experiencing the loss of our beloved colleague, Victoria Marinova", TVN said in a statement. "Investigative journalists are being systematically removed", Marinova said in her conclusion on the last Detector episode, aired on 30 September, adding that her show would give a forum to investigative journalists and engage in its own investigations in future.

Marinova is the third journalist murdered in the European Union within the previous year, Reuters reported.

A Bulgarian television journalist was suffocated and beaten to death, prosecutors say, in a case which has sparked global condemnation.

The Committee to Protect Journalists is urging police in Bulgaria to conduct a "rigorous, thorough investigation" into Marinova's case.

Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov said a bank transfer of 14 million euros ($16.06 million) had been frozen as part of a pre-trial investigation into issues raised by the investigative journalists on the show but declined to give further details.

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He says Dujarric said Guterres is paying "very close attention" to the trend and has raised the issue of violence against journalists with United Nations member states, both privately and publicly.

"I am glad so many people are here", said Stoyka Panagonova, a mother of three, at the vigil in Ruse. Investigators are still trying to track down potential witnesses and establish a motive for her killing. In the first episode, she interviewed two investigative reporters who were recently arrested while looking into corruption involving the misuse of European Union funds.

In October 2017, Daphne Caruana Galiza, a Maltese journalist known for exposing high level corruption, was murdered by a bomb placed on her auto.

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

Interior Minister Mladen Marinov confirmed that Marinova had been raped and said there are now no links between the crime and Marinova's work as a journalist.

Journalists' groups and foreign officials expressed shock.

Marinova's slaying follows those of prominent journalists in Malta and Slovakia, with both murders linked to their work and both sparking public outrage. Swedish freelance journalist Kim Wall was murdered in a gruesome case in Denmark past year by Danish inventor Peter Madsen. He declined to answer reporters' question about whether there was signs she had been sexually assaulted. Slovakian investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his girlfriend were shot to death in February.

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