Suspect in Bulgarian journalist slaying arrested in Germany

Suspect in Bulgarian journalist slaying arrested in Germany

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.

Marinova's beaten and strangled body was found in the bushes by the banks of the Danube River in the northern Bulgarian city of Ruse, police said.

An unnamed suspect, only described as a "Romanian citizen with a passport from Moldova", had been arrested in Marinova's murder, according to the national radio report.

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.

She had recently been working on corruption allegations against businessmen and politicians.

Exposing corruption: Bulgarian TV journalist Viktoria Marinova.

Those details led to widespread speculation that Ms Marinova's death might have been linked to her work as a journalist. 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".

Marinova was a presenter for a current affairs show called Detector on Ruse-based private television channel TVN, one of the most popular channels in northeastern Bulgaria.

"It is about rape and murder", Interior Minister Mladen Marinov said, according to The New York Times.

A reporter from TVN told AFP, "We are in shock".

Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed in a vehicle bombing in October 2017 in Malta and Jan Kuciak was murdered in Slovakia in February 2018.

But owner Asen Yordanov said he had received credible information his journalists were in danger of being assaulted because of the investigation that featured on Ms Marinova's show.

In a July report on the state of media freedom in Bulgaria, Reporters Without Borders said, "Fortunately, no investigative journalists have been killed in Bulgaria for their work, but there are documented murder plans and attempts, cruel, execution-style, beatings, vehicle arson and bombs targeting investigative reporters".

And even some of Marinova's fellow journalists were not convinced that she was killed because of her reporting.

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.