Bulgaria police release Romanian questioned over journalist's murder

Viktoria Marinova was raped and murdered

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.

The minister said investigators had spoken to Marinova's family and friends and "there is no apparent link to her work".

Bulgarian police questioned a Romanian man about the murder of TV journalist Viktoria Marinova on Tuesday but released him without charge and the country remains under global pressure to solve the crime.

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

It's not clear if Marinova's murder was related to her journalistic work.

He quoted Mr Juncker as saying previously that "too many" journalists are being intimidated, attacked or murdered and that "there is no democracy without a free press".

"At this stage, we do not believe that the murder is linked" to Marinova's work.

The organization added in its statement that Marinova's last broadcast was an interview with Romanian journalist Attila Biro and a Bulgarian colleague, Dimitar Stoyanov, who were looking into allegations of fraud involving European Union funds.

The body of 30-year-old Viktoria Marinova was found on Saturday near a pedestrian alley in an area with heavy vegetation, Bulgarian state media reported.

European leaders have expressed their shock at the killing. "Again a courageous journalist falls in the fight for truth and against corruption", the EU Commission's vice president Frans Timmermans tweeted late Sunday.

The first episode, which aired on 30 September, featured interviews with investigative journalists Dimitar Stoyanov from the Bivol.bg website and Attila Biro from the Romanian Rise Project.

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. "It was meant to serve as an example, something like a warning".

According to Reporters Without Borders, Bulgaria ranks 111 out of 180 countries on the 2018 World Press Freedom Index, the lowest scoring member of the European Union.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has condemned the "brutal" killing of investigative reporter Victoria Marinova, declaring it as outrageous. He said there was no information that she had been threatened.

Mr Yordanov said his journalists were getting threats to their safety for this reporting.



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