TV journalist murdered in Bulgarian town of Ruse

TV journalist murdered in Bulgarian town of Ruse

TV journalist murdered in Bulgarian town of Ruse

The thirty-year-old's body was found in a park on Saturday, Georgiev said. "Investigative journalists are being systematically removed", Marinova said in her conclusion on the last Detector episode, aired on 30 September, adding that her show would give a forum to investigative journalists and engage in its own investigations in future.

Bulgarian officials said there was no evidence to suggest that Marinova's killing was related to her work.

A reporter from TVN told AFP, "We are in shock".

Margaritis Schinas, a spokeswoman for the European Commission, called for "a swift and thorough investigation" of Marinova's death "that will bring those responsible to justice and clarify whether this attack was linked to her work".

Bulgarian prime minister Boyko Borissov said: "It's only a matter of time before the murderer will be revealed. A large amount of DNA has been obtained".

The first episode of the show on September 30 broadcast interviews with investigative journalists Dimitar Stoyanov from the website and Attila Biro from the Romanian Rise Project, about an investigation of alleged fraud with European Union funds linked to big businessmen and politicians.

Both Biro and Stoyanov had previously been arrested and held by police in their course of their investigation. Her death follows the alleged slaying of a Washington Post journalist in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Also on the minds of press freedom advocates is the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi critic and Washington Post contributor, who vanished last week after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Marinova's murder comes in a long line of attacks carried out recently against journalists.

Jourova and MEPs have visited Malta and Slovakia to keep an eye on police enquiries, but no one has been brought to justice yet.

"Shocked by horrific murder of investigative journalist Viktoria Marinova in Bulgaria", tweeted Harlem Desir, the media freedom representative for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

It comes after Daphne Caruana Galizia, an investigative journalist from Malta, was killed in October past year after a bomb blew up her vehicle and Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak was shot dead in February.

Bulgaria is regarded as a laggard in the European Union in matters of press freedom, ranking 111th out of a total 180 in this area, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Police investigators walk near a crime scene where TV journalist Viktoria Marinova was murdered in Ruse, Bulgaria, Oct. 7, 2018. She was not a household name in Bulgaria and was previously best known for presenting a regional lifestyle show.

Ricardo Gutiérrez, head of the European Federation of Journalists, called for enhanced protections for journalists across Europe.

"With enormous pain and insurmountable grief the team of TVN television is experiencing the loss of our beloved colleague, Victoria Marinova", TVN said in a statement.

Hundreds of journalists protested against government threats against the nations biggest broadcasters - with deputy prime minister Valeri Simonov accusing them of leading a "smear campaign".

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