Bulgarian journalist reporting on corruption found murdered

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The Guardian reports that in the most recent episode of her current affairs show Detector, Marinova spoke to investigative journalists looking into alleged fraud involving European Union funds, politicians, and large infrastructure companies.

Bulgarian Interior Minister Mladen Marinov, who travelled to Ruse to oversee the inquiry on Monday, has said there was no evidence so far to suggest a link to Marinova's work as a journalist.

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov expressed hope that the investigation would succeed because of the "work that has been done". The best criminologists were sent to Ruse, let's not press them. "A large amount of DNA had been obtained".

Bivol.bg owner Asen Yordanov told AFP that "Viktoria's death, the brutal manner in which she was killed, is an execution".

The OSCE's media freedom representative Harlem Desir condemned Marinova's killing on Twitter: "Shocked by horrific murder of investigative journalist Victoria Marinova in #Bulgaria".

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The German government condemned her "brutal murder" and said it is imperative "that there's a fast investigation and that this awful event will be illuminated as comprehensively as possible". They called on Bulgarian authorities to identify, arrest and prosecute those responsible for Marinova's killing.

She worked for a popular local TV station, TVN, which noted in a statement that it was experiencing "great pain and insurmountable grief".

In October 2017, Daphne Caruana Galiza, a Maltese journalist known for exposing high level corruption, was murdered by a bomb placed on her vehicle.

The commission vice president, Frans Timmermans, said he was "shocked by the horrendous murder of Victoria [sic] Marinova". "It was meant to serve as an example, something like a warning".

According to Reporters Without Borders, Bulgaria sits at 111 on the World Press Freedom Index, however until now, no journalists have been killed this year. "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.

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In the week before her murder, Marinova presented a TV show that broadcast interviews with reporters from the Bivol website on alleged fraud involving European Union funds linked to businessmen and politicians.

Bulgaria, which now holds the rotating EU Presidency, ranks last among all EU countries in terms of media freedom.

In October 2017 hundreds of Bulgarian journalists protested in Sofia against threats from Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov against the nation's biggest broadcasters after he accused mainstream media of leading a "massive smear campaign" against him.

Bulgarian media reported Monday that the park where Marinova was killed is adjacent to a psychiatric facility and authorities were investigating whether a patient could have been Marinova's attacker.

She says "whatever results the investigation (into Marinova's death) shows, people won't believe them".

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But media focused on her recent work.