Yet another tragic death of a high profile journalist is now raising questions. A Bulgarian journalist and TV personality who was in the midst of a deep investigation into alleged corruption involving EU funds has been found murdered in the Bulgarian town of Ruse, authorities said on Sunday.
The body of 30-year-old Viktoria Marinova was found in a local park on Saturday, and though so far police have presented the case as a tragic rape and murder unconnected with her professional work as a journalist, Bulgarian media were quick to suggest it could be linked to her EU investigations. Police said on Sunday she appeared to have been beaten, raped, and strangled to death in crime described as “exceptionally brutal”.
Major media outlets in the West, meanwhile, were quick to pick up on the suspicious nature of the timing of the heinous crime, with The Guardian noting that “The European commission and German government have urged Bulgarian authorities to bring to justice those responsible for the brutal killing of the journalist Viktoria Marinova, who had been reporting on alleged corruption in one of the EU’s newest member states.”
Bulgarian Interior minister Mladen Marinov immediately tried to throw cold water on widespread speculation that she was targeted for here investigation journalism, saying there was no evidence of this: “It is about rape and murder,” he said in a statement. Marinov added that there was no evidence suggesting she had previously been threatened over her work.
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