Bulgaria probes rape and murder of journalist Viktoria Marinova

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The 30-year-old disappeared after going for a run and was found dead on Saturday in a park near Ruse.

Marinova, a former model, was a board member of the small Ruse-based private TVN channel, where she recently started anchoring a show called "Detector".

"There is physical evidence to link to the murder", Marinov said on Wednesday.

The Interior Ministry said late Monday that prosecutors had opened an investigation into GP Group, a large private Bulgarian building company alleged to have misused the European Union money, and froze 14 million euros ($16 million) of its assets.

Bulgaria's government said there was no evidence the killing was linked to Marinova's journalism for local television station TVN, "but her death has drawn global condemnation and press freedom campaigners have expressed fears of a cover-up", says The Independent.

"He has been charged in absence for two crimes - rape and premeditated murder with extreme cruelty", he said.

"They are on the right path, but let's see how the investigation proceeds", he said. "We can not downplay any possibility and any version, but if you are investigating the killing, you are looking for a motive", he said.

Bulgarian police, however, said they are considering all possible scenarios and examining possible links to both her personal and professional life.

Hundreds of Bulgarians turned out Monday night for vigils to honor Marinova.

In the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, mourners gathered outside a church.

Bulgaria's top prosecutor says authorities have no new leads on the motives for the rape and slaying of a Bulgarian television reporter.

"Whatever results the investigation (into Marinova's death) shows, people won't believe them", she said. They cited a television program she hosted in September about the misuse of European Union funds for Bulgaria.

Dimitar Stoyanov, of the Bivol website, and Attila Biro, from the Romanian Rise Project, have alleged a ring of consultancy firms...

Bivol.bg owner Assen Yordanov said he couldn't directly link Marinova's slaying to her work, but noted her show tackled "our very sensitive investigation into the misuse of European Union funds".

"We are now following a European arrest procedure".

"We are working on all possible motives and we do not exclude any", Marinov told reporters on Monday.

In a statement from the United Nations cultural agency's headquarters in Paris, Azoulay added: "Attacks on journalists erode the fundamental human right to freedom of expression and its corollaries, press freedom and free access to information".

Giegold said, "First Malta, then Slovakia, now Bulgaria". He said that her mobile phone was missing and one of her shoes had been found "several meters away" from her body.

In September 2018, the Committee Against Assault on Journalists (CAAJ) in New Delhi organised National Convention Against Assault on Journalists where notable Indian journalist weighed in on difficulties faced by journalists during the current BJP regime under PM Modi.

"The government and the corporate world pressure strongly the media owners and the media themselves", Marinova said, according to a translation by Bulgarian investigative news site Bivol.

In October 2017, Daphne Caruana Galizia, a Maltese reporter who specialised in government corruption and money laundering, was killed by a auto bomb near her home.

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