The extradition from Germany to Bulgaria of Severin Krassimirov, accused of the rape and murder of television presenter Viktoria Marinova, was to be carried out on October 17, according to Bulgarian Justice Minister Tsetska Tsacheva.
Krassimirov, 21, was due to arrive in Sofia on a late afternoon commercial flight from Frankfurt.
The October 6 murder of Marinova drew considerable foreign and Bulgarian media coverage and comment, the latter linking it to the below-par state of media freedom in Bulgaria. Prosecutors, however, say that it was most probable that the killing of Marinova was a spontaneous attack.
Given security concerns, Krassimirov – who was to be escorted on the Frankfurt-Sofia flight by officers from the Bulgarian directorate-general of security – would be put on a van on the runway without passing through the airport terminal, while the area would be cordoned off.
The plan was for Krassimirov to be taken in an armoured convoy to Rousse, the city on the Danube where the rape and murder took place.
While the extradition application was made while charges of rape and murder had been pressed against Krassimirov in absentia, on Bulgarian soil he will be formally charged, in the presence of a lawyer. Prosecutors are to order him into 72-hour custody and then apply to court for an order to remand him in custody pending the outcome of a trial.
In court in Germany, Krassimirov reportedly admitted striking Marinova – who was out jogging near the Danube – but denied intending to kill her. He denied raping her. This testimony in the extradition hearing has no legal standing in a Bulgarian court.
It is expected that a psychiatric examination of Krassimirov will be ordered by the Bulgarian court.
Krassimirov will be held in a four sq m cell with its own bathroom, a consequence of a request by the German court, before agreeing to the extradition, that he would be detained in custody in accordance with European standards.
(Photo: Jason Morrison)