German authorities have arrested a fresh suspect tied to the murder of Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova, according to media reports. The TV reporter’s body was found in a park in northern Bulgarian town of Ruse.
A man has been detained in Germany in connection with the murder of Bulgarian television journalist Viktoria Marinova, according to media reports in Bulgaria.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov is scheduled to hold a press conference early on Wednesday where, DW has learned, he is expected to confirm details of the arrest
News of the arrest first appeared on the website of Bulgaria’s 168 Chasa newspaper late on Tuesday.
The man, described as a Bulgarian national between the ages of 20 and 30, had left Bulgaria on Sunday for Germany, where his mother is believed to live.
Local television station TVN, where Marinova was employed, later reported the suspect and Marinova had not known each other.
bTV, another Bulgarian broadcaster, claimed that police had found the journalist’s mobile phone in the suspect’s apartment in the northern town of Ruse.
German authorities have so far declined to confirm the arrest.
Marinova’s body was found in a park in Ruse on Saturday. It showed signs of strangulation and rape.
It remains unclear whether Marinova was killed as a result of her work. Bulgarian authorities said they were investigating both professional and personal motifs for her murder.
The 30-year-old reporter had most recently hosted investigative journalists on her television show who had reported on the misuse of European Union funds by Bulgarian authorities.
On Tuesday, police in Ruse arrested a Romanian citizen in connection with the murder, but later released him without charge due to a lack of concrete evidence.
Marinova’s killing has sparked an international outcry, with European governments calling for a thorough investigation into her death.
Read more: Slovakia: Has the EU looked the other way for too long?
Although authorities in Bulgaria have played down the likelihood that Marinova’s murder was a direct result of her reporting, the country still ranks 111th in the world in terms of press freedom, making it not only the worst performer in the EU but the entire Balkan region.
The case has rekindled a heated debate over the safety of journalists in Europe. Over the past year, two other journalists who had been working on investigations into state corruption were killed in Slovakia and Malta.