Germany arrests man for Bulgarian journalist's murder

Her body was discovered in a park on Saturday

A man taken into custody in connection with the brutal murder of a female Bulgarian journalist is set to be released and won't be charged in her slaying, a senior police officer said Tuesday. "The German prosecutor has arrested the suspect, they will then assess how to proceed", Tsatsarov said.

Authorities have said she died from blows to the head and suffocation. She also worked on a program focusing on social issues and was involved with charity work.

Mr Biro said he had never met Ms Marinova, but one of her colleagues had interviewed him and Mr Stoyanov about their work.

"The shocking news about the murder of Victoria Marinova, an investigative journalist, seemingly linked to her reports on investigations into alleged corruption involving European Union funds, urges us to take immediate action at all levels and with all legal means", Moraes wrote.

In October 2017, Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a vehicle bomb near her home, while in February this year Slovakian journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova were shot dead.

But her murder has all the same revived the debate over the extent of press freedom in Bulgaria and the rights of journalists to pursue investigative reporting.

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.

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"I see deliberate attempts to marginalise this killing and manipulate the public opinion that Viktoria was a victim of a random attack or sexual manslaughter", said Assen Yordanov, founder of Bivol.bg, whose reporters were on Marinova's last show.

Her body was discovered by authorities on Saturday in a park near the river in the northern town of Ruse, where her TV station is based.

PEN America said Tuesday that "the horrifying rape and murder.... demands an immediate, rigorous and independent investigation". He said the country's top murder investigators had been sent to Ruse to work on the case.

Chief prosecutor Tsatsarov told the news conference that he could not say at this stage if the murder was linked to Marinova's work as a journalist. "Again a courageous journalist falls in the fight for truth and against corruption", the EU Commission's vice president Frans Timmermans tweeted late Sunday.

Bulgarian authorities are requesting his extradition, she said.

"In this situation it's necessary to analyze in depth the problems in Bulgaria connected to violence against women", declared a statement from the Association of European Journalists - Bulgaria.

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