A Bulgarian television reporter was murdered after she reported on the possible misuse of European Union funds. (AP: Vadim Ghirda)
Bulgarian police have detained a suspect in connection with the killing of investigative journalist Viktoria Marinova, whose body was found in a park in her hometown of Ruse four days ago.
- Journalist was found raped and murdered near the Danube River
- She had been reporting on the alleged misuse of EU funds
- Reports say suspect is “Romanian citizen with a passport from Moldova”
An Interior Ministry spokeswoman declined to confirm or deny the information and said the ministry might issue a statement later on Tuesday (local time).
However, Bulgarian national radio reported that a suspect had been arrested in connection with the slaying of the television reporter, whose body was found dumped after she highlighted possible government corruption.
Tuesday’s report said that according to unconfirmed information from the interior ministry, the suspect is “a Romanian citizen with a passport from Moldova.”
No other information was immediately available.
Viktoria Marinova is the third journalist to be murdered in the EU in the past year. (Facebook: Viktoria Marinova)
Prosecutors said late Monday they had opened an investigation into the suspected misuse of European Union funds, as police investigate the rape and slaying of Ms Marinova, whose strangled body was found Saturday near the Danube River.
Ms Marinova, 30, hosted a show last month featuring two investigative journalists who were detained for their work on suspected fraud involving EU funds.
While she did not appear to have been closely involved in the fraud investigation, her show touched on a sensitive subject in Bulgaria, where corruption is endemic.
The Balkan nation joined the EU in 2007 and was ranked 71st on Transparency International’s corruption list last year.
Joining the bloc opened an enormous spigot of possible new EU funding for Bulgarian infrastructure projects or other programs designed to bring the nation up to EU standards.
Journalists’ groups and European leaders expressed shock at Ms Marinova’s murder.
Margaritis Schinas, spokesman for European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, said on Monday that the commission expected “a swift and thorough investigation …. that will bring those responsible to justice and clarify whether this attack was linked to her work.”