Popular Bulgarian Journalist Victoria Marinova Raped And Beaten To Death

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Her body was found on Saturday dumped in the Danube river.

A broadcast journalist who had been investigating alleged corruption involving European Union funds has been found raped and murdered, but it is unclear whether her death is in connection with her work.

In October 2017, Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a vehicle bomb near her home, while in February this year Slovakian journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova were shot dead.

The prosecutor general, Sotir Tsatsarov, said on Monday that while nothing was being ruled out, it was unlikely that Marinova's killing was connected to her work, reports the Times.

Last October, Daphne Caruana Galizia, one of Malta's best-known investigative journalists, was killed when a powerful bomb blew up her auto.

In October 2017, hundreds of Bulgarian journalists protested in central Sofia over threats from deputy prime minister Valeri Simeonov against the country's biggest broadcasters.

Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said a large amount of evidence had been collected adding that "it is just a matter of time before the perpetrator is found". "Her new programme doesn't seem to offer any motive to kill her", said Tihomir Bezlov, of the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) in Sofia.

Condolences poured in on social media for Marinova who leaves behind a small child. We condemn any effort to intimidate journalists from reporting on corruption.

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EURACTIV has reported about this corruption case in November 2015.

TVN said in a statement that their team was suffering "great pain and insurmountable grief" at the death of their colleague. "It was meant to serve as an example, something like a warning", Yordanov told the news agency. Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak was shot dead along with his fiancee in February after he reported on corrupt ties between Slovak officials and Italian mobsters. "Investigative journalists are being systematically removed", Marinova said in her conclusion on the last Detector episode, aired on 30 September, adding that her show would give a forum to investigative journalists and engage in its own investigations in future.

The organization added in its statement that Marinova's last broadcast was an interview with Romanian journalist Attila Biro and a Bulgarian colleague, Dimitar Stoyanov, who were looking into allegations of fraud involving European Union funds, and that the two reporters were detained by Bulgarian police in September. "Those responsible should be brought to justice immediately by the Bulgarian authorities", he said.

The Committee to Protect Journalists termed it "shocked by the barbaric murder".

The murder, preceded by the brutal rape, beating and strangling of the victim, caused ripples across Bulgaria on Sunday as well as a vocal worldwide reaction.

In another high-profile case, journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva broke news past year that large caches of U.S., Saudi, and Bulgarian weapons were secretly being shipped to Syria.

Marinova's final show was a program about Attila Biro, an investigative journalist with the Rise Project Romania and a colleague from the Bulgarian investigative site Bivol.bg, Dimitar Stoyanov.