Vigils to be held for murdered Bulgarian television journalist

Mourning vigils are to be held in Sofia and other cities on the evening of October 8 for Viktoria Marinova, a journalist for a Rousse cable television station, found murdered in the Danube city this past weekend.

Bulgarian police say that they are pursuing several lines of inquiry into the murder, concerning both the professional and private life of Marinova.

Although there is no confirmation that Marinova, who was 30, was murdered because of her television work, the case has led to calls from international and domestic media freedom bodies who have urged a thorough investigation and linked it to Bulgaria’s low ranking in media freedom in comparison with all other EU countries.

News agency reports about the killing were carried on several prominent international media, which cited other murders of journalists in European countries in 2018.

The head of the regional directorate of the Interior Ministry in Rousse, Senior Commissioner Teodor Atanassov, said that no theory was being ruled out at the moment.

The investigation included known criminals with a predilection for violence while checks also were being carried out at the city’s psychiatric hospital regarding patients prone to severe aggression, Atanassov said.

Marinova, who leaves a seven-year-old child, was divorced from the owner of Rousse’s TVN in February 2018. Bulgarian media said that the relationship between the divorcees was normal and there was no tension between them.

On the advice of legal counsel, journalists at TVN were not commenting to their colleagues.

Some Bulgarian media highlighted the fact that the last broadcast by Marinova involved an interview with Dimitar Stoyanov from the Bivol website and Attila Biro, a Romanian, who received prominent coverage recently when they were arrested while investigating a major company that they allege was involved in abusing EU funds.

However, Marinova only presented the show and did not conduct the interview herself, which in turn provided no new information about the matter, media reports said.

The place where Marinova was found dead, at the riverside, is frequented by fishermen and people going jogging. Reportedly, Marinova was on a practice run when she was attacked and murdered.



The Sofia Globe staff

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