Victoria Marinova

The 30-year-old Bulgarian journalist working for regional TV channel TVN was found dead in a park in the city of Ruse, located in the north of the country. According to local media reports, her body was found in an area of difficult access, near the Danube river bank with signs of rape, beating and then strangulation. She was beaten with such violence that her face was unrecognizable, so she was not identified until last night, reports added.

The regional prosecutor of Ruse, Georgui Georguiev, told the press that the death was caused by blows on the head and suffocation. “Her mobile phone, car keys, glasses and part of her clothes were missing,” Georgiev said, adding that "there is no information to indicate that the crime was committed by more than one person".

Victoria Marinova was an administrative director of Ruse’s TVN television and had just started her own news talk show called “Detector”, which was broadcast for the last time on September 30. On that occasion, she interviewed Bulgarian journalist Dimitar Stoyanov, from Bivol website, and Romanian journalist Attila Biro, member of the RISE Romania research journalism project.

Journalists in Bulgaria voiced concern that the murder may have targeted Marinova on account of her recent TV appearances. They pointed out that on 30 September 2018 she had presented an investigative programme called ‘Detector’ on the private regional TV channel TVN, which featured interviews by another colleague with two well-known Bulgarian and Romanian journalists about their investigation into the alleged misappropriation of EU funds by politicians and businessmen. The owner of investigative journalism website, Asen Yordanov, was cited by media as saying that the journalists who appeared on the TV programme were in danger because of their investigation into the issue, which has for some time been the focus of fierce controversy.

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