The Latest: Journalists group calls for probe of slaying

October 08, 2018 - 5:45 am

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — The Latest on the rape and slaying of a Bulgarian journalist (all times local):

3:40 p.m.

A journalists' group has called for an investigation into the "brutal" slaying of a Bulgarian television reporter and presenter, but warned against speculating about the motive for her killing.

The Association of European Journalists-Bulgaria said there should be a thorough investigation into the death of Viktoria Marinova and justice should be "delivered.... to the people responsible for this brutal act."

Marinova's body was found on Saturday. She had been beaten, raped and strangled.

The association said the investigation should examine possible motivations, including that her slaying was connected to her job as a journalist.

However, it added: "As long as there are no solid and proven facts, speculation that the incident is connected to freedom of expression ... are unacceptable."


2:40 p.m.

A Bulgarian investigative online site owner has called for an independent international inquiry into the rape and slaying of Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova. owner Assen Yordanov said Monday he couldn't directly link Marinova's slaying on Saturday to her work, but noted her Sept. 30 show tackled "our very sensitive investigation into the misuse of EU funds. This is a topic on which no other Bulgarian national media dared to report on."

He told The Associated Press that his site had received "operational information that hits against our journalists working on this story are being discussed and prepared."

Yordanov said that "to get to the truth we are calling for an independent investigation.... we want independent European investigators to get involved because we believe the Bulgarian authorities are part of this country's criminal network."


2 p.m.

The German government has sharply condemned the killing of a Bulgarian journalist, calling it "a brutal and dreadful murder."

A spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry said that it's imperative "that there's a fast investigation and that this horrible event will be illuminated as comprehensively as possible."

The body of 30-year-old TV journalist Viktoria Marinova, who was brutally beaten, raped and strangled, was discovered in the town of Ruse, in northern Bulgaria, on Saturday.

Sven Giegold, a German member of the Greens in the European Parliament, said all of Europe should worry about the killing.

Giegold said, "First Malta, then Slovakia, now Bulgaria. It is unacceptable that in Europe journalists are getting killed again," referring to the killings of two other journalists in those countries.

He called on the European Parliament to quickly send a delegation to Bulgaria to help investigate the crime.


12:30 p.m.

Bulgarian police are investigating the rape and slaying of a television reporter and presenter whose body was dumped near the Danube River.

Authorities discovered the body of 30-year-old Viktoria Marinova in the town of Ruse, northern Bulgaria, on Saturday.

Police said she had been brutally beaten, raped and strangled. Her body was found in a park near the river.

Interior minister Mladen Marinov said Monday there was no evidence to suggest the killing was linked to Marinova's work. "It is about rape and murder," he said.

Bulgarian police, however, say they are working on all possible scenarios, examining possible links to both her personal and professional life.

Marinova was a director of a small local TV station and presenter of two investigative programs.