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Germany Detains Suspect In Brutal Slaying Of Bulgarian Journalist


A video grab shows the last report of Bulgarian TV journalist Viktoria Marinova, which aired on October 1.

Police in Germany have detained a man in connection with the rape and killing of Bulgarian television journalist Viktoria Marinova, German authorities have confirmed.

German prosecutors said on October 10 the suspect was detained in the city of Stade in the northern state of Lower Saxony late the previous day, and that they were verifying the conditions required for extradition to Bulgaria.

The Interior Ministry of Lower Saxony said the man was detained at the home of relatives and was due to be brought before a magistrate later in the day.

Marinova's body was found on October 6 in a park in the northern Bulgarian city of Ruse, and police said the 30-year-old journalist was brutally beaten, raped, and strangled.

The killing has stunned Bulgaria and sparked an international outcry, with European governments calling for a thorough investigation into her death.

Bulgarian officials earlier announced that German police had detained the suspect, whom they identified as Severin Krasimirov, at the request of Bulgaria’s authorities. German officials did not release the suspect's name.

It was not clear whether the man, a resident of Ruse, was 20 or 21.

Bulgarian Interior Minister Mladen Marinov said Krasimirov was a DNA match for evidence recovered at the crime scene.

Marinov also said investigators had spoken to Marinova's family and friends and that there was "no apparent link" to Marinova's work as a journalist.

However, Bulgaria's chief prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov, insisted that all possibilities were still being considered.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov (center) speaks next to chief prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov (right) and Interior Minister Mladen Marinov in Sofia on October 10.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov (center) speaks next to chief prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov (right) and Interior Minister Mladen Marinov in Sofia on October 10.

Marinova, who served as a member of the management team of the private television station TVN, hosted a program last month featuring two journalists who had investigated suspected fraud involving EU funds linked to businessmen and politicians in Bulgaria.

Tsatsarov said the suspect crossed the border with Romania on October 7, one day after the killing took place.

Marinov said Krasimirov lived near the crime scene and had a criminal record for scrap-metal theft.

Bulgaria charged the man in his absence and requested a European arrest warrant.

Bulgarian Broadcaster bTV earlier reported that police had found the journalist's phone in the suspect's apartment in Ruse.

A Romanian man detained on October 9 in connection with the killing was released for lack of evidence.

Marinova is the third journalist to have suffered a violent death in the European Union over the past 12 months, after Jan Kuciak in Slovakia in February and Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta in October last year. Both Kuciak and Caruana Galizia were also known for their work exposing corruption.

Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007 together with Romania, but both have been kept under EU monitoring for corruption and the need for further judicial reforms.

Hundreds of people have protested against corruption in front of the Palace of Justice in the capital, Sofia, and called for the resignation of the government and chief prosecutor Tsatsarov.

Led by the anticorruption group BOETS, the demonstrators have pledged to continue protesting daily until the journalist's killer is found.

With reporting by dpa, Dagbladet.no, NRK.no, and DW.com
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