Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Journalist Who Reported on EU Corruption Found Raped and Murdered

Viktoria Marinova 
A Bulgarian journalist who reported on an investigation into alleged corruption involving European Union funds has been murdered in the Danube town of Ruse, Bulgaria reports Reuters.

Prosecutors in the Balkan country said that the body of 30-year-old Viktoria Marinova was found in a park in Ruse on Saturday.

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

The Washington Post reports that last month she began anchoring a program called “Detector,” which focused on political investigations.

Only one segment of the relaunched program aired before her death. It featured the work of two journalists investigating the alleged misuse of public E.U. funds by a network of corporations in the region. The journalists — Dimitar Stoyanov, from the Bulgarian website Bivol, and Attila Biro, a Romanian journalist from the Rise Project — were briefly detained by local authorities in mid-September as a result of the reporting.

Marinova, who was a board member of the Ruse-based TV station TVN, is the third journalist to have been murdered in the European Union in a year.

According to multiple media reports, last October, Daphne Caruana Galizia, Malta’s best-known investigative journalist, was killed when a powerful bomb blew up her car, and Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak was shot dead in February.

“Again a courageous journalist falls in the fight for truth and against corruption,” Frans Timmermans, vice president of the European Commission, said Monday in Brussels

But Bulgarian Interior Minister Mladen Marinov told reporters. “It is about rape and murder.” He said there was no evidence to suggest the murder was related to Marinova’s work and there was no information that she had been threatened.

Transparency International, a global corruption watchdog, has identified Bulgaria as the most corrupt member state in the European Union.


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