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Viktoria Marinova: Arrest over Bulgarian journalist’s murder

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Flowers and candles for Viktoria Marinova in the city of Rousse

A man has been arrested in Germany in connection with the rape and murder of Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova.

Bulgarian officials say a man named Severin Krasimirov has been detained at their request.

The country’s Interior Minister, Mladen Marinov, said the suspect was a DNA match for evidence recovered at the crime scene.

Current evidence does not suggest the attack was linked to Ms Marinova’s work as a journalist, officials said.

Instead, the attack seems to have been a spontaneous sexual assault, chief prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov said, adding that all possibilities were still being considered.

What do we know of the suspect?

Severin Krasimirov left Bulgaria for Germany on Sunday, the day after the rape and murder, Bulgarian newspaper 168 Chasa reports.

The suspect was charged in Bulgaria in his absence and a European arrest warrant was requested.

A man detained on Tuesday in Bulgaria was released without charge.

Viktoria Marinova’s body was found on Saturday in a park in the northern city of Ruse, near the River Danube. She had been raped, beaten and suffocated.

Her mobile phone, keys, glasses, and some of her clothes were missing, prosecutors say.

Who was Viktoria Marinova?

She was a presenter on a current affairs talk programme called Detector, which had recently aired an interview with two Bulgarian investigative journalists exploring alleged fraud involving EU funds and prominent businessmen and politicians.

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Ms Marinova is the third high-profile journalist to be killed in the EU this year

The two investigative journalists, Attila Biro and Dimitar Stoyanov, were themselves arrested in September while looking into the case, in a country that ranks lowest of any EU member in the Press Freedom Index.

Those details led to widespread speculation that Ms Marinova’s death might have been linked to her work as a journalist.

She was the third high-profile journalist to be murdered in the EU in the past year:

On Monday, hundreds of mourners in Bulgaria held vigils for Ms Marinova.

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