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Bulgarian investigative journalist killed, authorities say

SOFIA (Reuters) – A Bulgarian journalist reporting on allegations of alleged corruption by the European Union was murdered on Sunday in Donaustadt Ruse.

Prosecutors in the Balkans said that the body of 30-year-old Viktoria Marinova was found on Saturday in a park in Ruse. They only identified her with her initials.

"It's about rape and murder," Interior Minister Mladen Marinov told reporters. He said there was no evidence that the murder was related to Marinova's work and that there was no information that she had been threatened.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov told reporters: "I am convinced that it is a matter of time before the murder The best criminologists were sent to Ruse, we did not squeeze them in. A large amount of DNA was obtained."

Police are expected to announce more details on Monday.

"Her death was caused by blows to the head and suffocation, and her cell phone, car keys, glasses and some of her clothes were missing," said Ruse regional prosecutor Georgy Georgiev.

Marinova, a board member of the Ruse-based TV channel TVN, was one of the most popular television stations in northeastern Bulgaria – the third journalist to be murdered in the European Union in one year.

Local media reported that Marinova had recently been involved in an investigation by a group of Bulgarian journalists on lists of companies involved in EU-funded infrastructure projects managed by local authorities.

Last October, Daphne Caruana Galizia, Malta's most famous investigative journalist, was killed when a powerful bomb blew up her car and shot the Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak. February 19659010 "With great pain and insurmountable grief, the TVN team is experiencing the loss our beloved colleague Victoria Marinova and we pray for the grief of their relatives and colleagues, "said TVN in a brief statement.

In this year's Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index, Bulgaria ranked 111 out of 180 countries this year, lower than any other EU member and lower than other Western Balkan countries, some of which are candidates for EU membership are.

In October 2017, hundreds of Bulgarian journalists in downtown Sofia protested against threats by Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov against the country's largest broadcasters. He accused the mainstream media of conducting a "massive hate campaign" against him.

(Report by Angel Krasimirov, section by William Maclean)

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