The full story of the rape and murder of Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova
The Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova was found dead after she was brutally raped on Sunday evening, the journalist used to investigated the corruption scandal involving the embezzlement of EU funds in the country.
The 30-year-old Marinova’s body was found in a public park and death was caused by blows to the head and suffocation in the neck, Interior Minister Mladen Marinov later told reporters that the victim had also been raped.
The prosecutor pointed to the loss of her mobile phone and keys of her car and her glasses and a part of her clothes, pointing out that the investigation takes all the hypotheses into account, both personal and those related to its function.
The representative of press freedom in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Harlem Desire, condemned the killing of Marinova via Twitter. “I am shocked by the murder of investigative journalist Viktoria Marinova in Bulgaria. I call for an urgent, full and in-depth investigation. “Those responsible for the crime must be held accountable.”
Prime Minister Boyko Borissov expressed his hope that the investigation would succeed in uncovering the circumstances of the crime and said that thanks to the large amount of DNA samples collected, the arrest of the culprit was a matter of time.
According to Bulgarian media, Marinova served as the managing director of TVN TV in Ruse and recently launched a special talk show.
The latest subject was the corruption scandal involving embezzlement of funds allocated by European Union funds to implement construction projects in Bulgaria.
Investigations revealed possible involvement of representatives of the country’s top leadership in financial irregularities. According to the results of the investigations, 30-40% of the total allocated EU funds have been stolen or spent on bribes in Bulgaria.
The first episode of her program, which was broadcast in September, included an interview with investigative journalist Dimitar Stoyanov from Befol DGB and Atilla Peru of the Rise Project or Rise Project in Romania, which dealt with an alleged fraud of EU funds linked to men Senior business and politicians.
The two guests were briefly detained by the Bulgarian police, which was denounced by Reporters Without Borders at the time.
The murder of Marinova is the third such crime against journalists in the territory of the European Union in recent times, where journalist Daphne Galicia was killed by the bombing of her car in Malta in October 2017, and the Slovak journalist Jan Kosiak and his fiancée were shot dead in front of his home in February.
One journalist is killed every week around the world at an average rate, according to Reporters Without Borders.
Bulgaria fell to 111th place in Reporters Without Borders’ annual press freedom index in 2018, the lowest level among European countries.
According to the European Journalists’ Foundation, based in Bulgaria, small local press correspondents are under pressure from companies, politicians and direct threats, forcing them to exercise self-censorship.
Violence against women is also prevalent in Bulgaria, with many brutal killings of women by their husbands or former friends, which has recently raised this issue in the Bulgarian media.