Bulgarian journalist allegedly raped and murdered, police detain suspect

Her body was discovered in a park on Saturday

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, a government source familiar with the investigation told Reuters on Tuesday. Margaritis Schinas, a spokesman for European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, said 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".

Bulgarian national radio, citing what it said was unconfirmed information from Interior Ministry sources it did not name, earlier reported that "a Romanian citizen with a passport from Moldova" had been detained.

The country's Interior Minister, Mladen Marinov, said the suspect was a DNA match for evidence recovered at the crime scene.

Vigil commemorating Victoria Marinova in Sofia on Monday.

She is the third investigative journalist to be killed in the European Union in the past 12 months, UNESCO regretted.

In a statement from the United Nations cultural agency's headquarters in Paris, Azoulay added: "Attacks on journalists erode the fundamental human right to freedom of expression and its corollaries, press freedom and free access to information". He said the country's top murder investigators had been sent to Ruse to work on the case.

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Bulgarian prosecutors announced on Monday night that they have started a probe into the alleged embezzlement of European Union funds by GP Group, a construction company that the two investigative reporters were researching.

Marinova was raped and strangled, and her body found on Saturday near the Danube River after she highlighted possible government corruption.

She was the director of TVN, a TV station in Ruse, and an anchor of two investigative programs.

The first episode of her programme, aired on September 30, featured an investigation into fraud allegations against oligarchs and politicians.

Bivol.bg owner Asen Yordanov told AFP that "Viktoria's death, the brutal manner in which she was killed, is an execution". "It was meant to serve as an example, something like a warning".

Marinova's killing was widely-condemned on Twitter by fellow journalists and watchdog groups. "I did not know her personally, but as a mother I can only feel for her", said 28-year-old Denitsa Peicheva.

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