European Anti-Corruption Journalist Found Murdered In Bulgaria

Viktoria Marinova memorial
DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty

Bulgarian journalist and television personality Viktoria Marinova was found brutally murdered and raped on Saturday. She was 30 years old.

According to the USAToday, her body was found in the Danube River, near the Bulgarian town of Ruse. She had last been seen earlier that day after she met a group of friends for breakfast.

Investigators say that she was beaten, raped, and strangled to death before she was dumped in the river. While no evidence of a motive has appeared at this time, local law enforcement is not ruling out the possibility that her death is connected to her journalistic work.

Marinova hosted the talk show “Detector” on the channel TVN, where she spoke with other reporters about topics regarding the European Union. She frequently hosted Romanian journalists who were investigating alleged corruption among EU politicians and businessmen. Two of her guests were arrested in September, the BBC reports.

Bulgarian Interior Minister Mladen Marinov seemed to dismiss her work as a motive for the killing.

"It is about rape and murder," he told the press.

Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov concurred. “The hypothesis about linking the murder to her work and the topics she covered in her program is not a leading one,” he said, according to The Washington Post.

Her death shocked the citizens of Bulgaria, prompting a response from the EU reform group Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

“Those responsible must be held to account,” one of their representatives wrote on social media.

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov reassured the public in a statement, "it is just a matter of time before the perpetrator is found,” citing the amount of evidence recovered by the police.

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