Bulgarian Journalist Raped, Murdered After Corruption TV Program

Bulgarian television journalist Viktoria Marinova's body was found in a park

Marinova was found near the Danube river promenade in the town of Ruse on Saturday, after going out for a coffee and a jog, the regional prosecution said on Sunday at a press conference.

In Bulgaria, police found the body of a 30-year-old journalist Saturday in the northern town of Ruse, after she disappeared shortly after reporting on the misuse of European Union funds by local authorities.

In October 2017, Daphne Caruana Galizia, a Maltese reporter who specialised in government corruption and money laundering, was killed by a vehicle bomb near her home.

Bulgarian police said they were considering all possible scenarios and examining both Marinova's personal and professional lives for leads.

Bulgarian officials condemned the attack on Marinova, but they were also insistent that there was nothing to suggest that she had been killed because of her work.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov expressed hope that the investigation would succeed because of the "work that has been done".

'Thanks to the large amount of DNA material collected it is just a matter of time before the perpetrator will be found, ' he said.

The European Commission has urged the Bulgarian authorities to bring to justice those responsible for the killing.

Marinova was a board member of the Ruse-based television station TVN, where she recently started presenting a show called Detector. Previously she hosted a lifestyle program and was involved with charity work.

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Mahoney says that it is too early to say whether Marinova's killing falls into that category. The two worked alongside the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

Bivol's owner Asen Yordanov stated that the murder of Marinova is a warning for other journalists.

A candlelight vigil in Marinova's memory is organised for Monday evening in Sofia.

The killings of Kuciak in Slovakia and Caruana Galizia in Malta caused alarm across the Continent, coming at a time when a new brand of professed populist leaders in the region have used increasingly caustic language to attack reporters, especially those probing corruption. "She wanted to make investigative reporting", he said.

Marinova's murder has drawn global condemnation and calls from media watchdogs for a comprehensive investigation.

An episode of her programme aired on September 30 featured interviews with two investigative journalists from Bulgaria and Romania who had been working on corruption allegations. Those responsible should be brought to justice immediately by the Bulgarian authorities'.

It also ranks 111 out of 180 in terms of press freedom, the lowest in the European Union, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a French organization devoted to the protection of journalists.

In another high-profile case, journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva broke news previous year that large caches of U.S., Saudi, and Bulgarian weapons were secretly being shipped to Syria.

The murder case has shocked fellow journalists and sparked worldwide condemnation, with Ms Marinova now the third European reporter to have been killed in the past year.

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