Suspect held over murder of reporter in corruption story

Viktoria Marinova was raped and murdered

Viktoria Marinova was raped and murdered

A suspect has reportedly been arrested in connection with the rape and murder of the Bulgarian journalist, who had recently highlighted possible government corruption.

"We have in custody a person whose alibi we are checking, but for the time being we do not have a concrete suspect".

Viktoria Marinova's body was found on Saturday in a park in the northern city of Ruse, near the River Danube.

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.

It remains unclear whether Marinova was killed as a result of her work.

Joining the bloc opened an enormous spigot of possible new European Union funding for Bulgarian infrastructure projects or other programs created to bring the nation up to European Union standards.

The attack has shocked the country and drawn worldwide condemnation amid speculation the murder could be linked to Marinova's work as a journalist. There is already speculation that Marinova's death was linked to her work, and the OSCE representative on freedom of the media has called for Bulgarian authorities to "quickly determine" the reasons behind the attack.

The interior minister Mladen Marinov and a spokeswoman for the town's chief prosecutor were scheduled to hold a press conference later Tuesday afternoon.

Marinova was a director of TVN, a small TV station in Ruse, and a TV presenter for two investigative programs.

"This is a topic on which no other Bulgarian national media dared to report on", he told The Associated Press.

"I see deliberate attempts to marginalize this killing and manipulate the public opinion that Viktoria was a victim of a random attack or sexual manslaughter", Assen Yordanov said, adding that Marinova was the only TV journalist who had agreed to host his website's journalists to discuss the investigation.

He said: "Viktoria's death, the brutal manner in which she was killed, is an execution". "It was meant to serve as an example, something like a warning".

She is the third journalist to be murdered in Europe in the past 12 months after Jan Kuciak in Slovakia in February and Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta in October 2017.

Marinova's killing was widely-condemned on Twitter by fellow journalists and watchdog groups.

Bulgaria was ranked 111 out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders world press freedom index this year, lower than any other European Union member.

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