Man held in Bulgarian journalist rape, murder case

Sofia: The Bulgarian police have arrested a person suspected of links to the rape and murder of a journalist who was investigating alleged corruption related to EU funds, officials said on Tuesday.

Viktoria Marinova’s beaten corpse, which showed signs of rape and brutal violence, had been found on Saturday in the Bulgarian city of Ruse, near the River Danube.

“A suspect has been taken into custody at the Ruse police station,” the Interior Ministry spokesperson was cited as saying by Efe news.

Reports say the suspect was a Romanian citizen with a Moldovan passport.

Ruse regional prosecutor Georgy Georgiev said Marinova, 30, had suffered blows to the head and was suffocated in the fatal attack, adding that her “mobile phone, car keys, glasses and part of her clothes were missing”.

According to reports, her face was beaten so badly that her formal identification was delayed.

Marinova was the administrative director and presenter for private regional channel TVN. She had been working on a project related to alleged high-level corruption involving EU funds before being brutally murdered and dumped.

On Monday, hundreds of mourners held vigils around Bulgaria, said to be the worst country in the EU for press freedom.

The European Commission has called for a “swift and thorough investigation” into the journalist’s killing.