Bulgarian police probing journalist Viktoria Marinova's murder detain Romanian

Viktoria Marinova

Viktoria Marinova

Police in Bulgaria have arrested a suspect in the rape and murder of a television journalist whose death has been linked to an investigation into the alleged embezzlement of European Union funds.

Bulgarian police questioned a Romanian man about the murder of TV journalist Viktoria Marinova on Tuesday but released him without charge and the country remains under worldwide pressure to solve the crime.

The man, who wasn't identified, would be freed "very shortly", said Teodor Atanassov, chief police officer of the northern town of Ruse.

Romanian police confirmed on Tuesday night that a Romanian citizen detained for questioning in the case of TV journalist Viktoria Marinova's slaying was released by authorities in Bulgaria.

The brutal killing of 30-year-old Viktoria Marinova - who presented a current affairs talk programme called "Detector" for the small TVN television channel - has shocked the country and drawn global condemnation.

"Her death was caused by blows to the head and suffocation, and her mobile phone, auto keys, glasses and some of her clothing were missing", Ruse regional prosecutor Georgy Georgiev said.

Marinova briefly hosted a show on Bulgarian station TVN, called Detector.

It remains unclear whether Marinova was killed as a result of her work.

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

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The police have said they are looking into all possible motives but the founder of Bivol.bg, whose reporters were on Marinova's last show, said he feared authorities were downplaying the likelihood of links to her work.

The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Bulgarian authorities to launch a thorough investigation.

"We are in shock. In no way, under any form, never have we received any threats - aimed at her or the television".

While the reporter did not appear to have been intimately involved in uncovering the alleged fraud, her show touched on a sensitive subject in Bulgaria, where corruption is endemic.

The minister said investigators had spoken to Marinova's family and friends and added: "There is no apparent link to her work".

"Viktoria's death, the brutal manner in which she was killed, is an execution", Yordanov said.

"Shocked by [the] horrific murder of investigative journalists Victoria Marinova in #Bulgaria", read a tweet from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

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

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