Suspect in Murder of Bulgarian Journalist Detained in Germany

(Bloomberg) -- A suspect in the brutal murder of a Bulgarian television journalist was detained by German police.

Victoria Marinova, 30, who hosted a TV show in the Danube city of Russe, was found dead Saturday with signs of rape and suffocation. The third killing of a journalist in the European Union in a year prompted the bloc -- along with the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe -- to call for a quick investigation.

German police on Tuesday apprehended 27-year-old Severin Krassimirov, whose DNA matches samples from the crime scene, Bulgarian Interior Minister Mladen Marinov told reporters Wednesday in Sofia. The murder was probably a “spontaneous” sexual assault, Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov said. Krassimirov, who fled the country on Sunday, was charged in Bulgaria with murder and rape and may face a life sentence once he’s extradited.

“At this stage we can’t say the murder was related to Marinova’s professional activities,” Tsatsarov said. “But the fact that the murderer has been detained doesn’t mean we’re not working on all possible versions.”

Marinova’s last show included an interview with two journalists who were arrested last month while working on a corruption probe related to EU funding. Following her murder, prosecutors said they’ll open an investigation into the allegations.

Bulgaria ranks worst in the EU for violence against women, according to the European Institute for Gender Equality.

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