Bulgarian slain journo honoured
Hundreds bid farewell to Marinova as cops say suspect will be extradited
RUSE ( BULGARIA): Hundreds of people turned out for the funeral of murdered Bulgarian television journalist, Viktoria Marinova, as authorities said a suspect arrested in Germany would be extradited soon.
In a case that shocked Bulgaria and drew international condemnation, mourners bearing flowers and wreaths flocked to the northern town of Ruse to pay their respects to Marinova, whose body was discovered near a jogging path next to the Danube last Saturday.
Authorities said the 30yearold – who leaves a small child – died from blows to the head and suffocation and had also been raped.
Bulgaria has disputed the immediate assumption by many international bodies and rights groups that the murder was connected with her work.
A 20yearold Bulgarian suspect, named as Severin Krasimirov, was tracked down and arrested in the northern German town of Stade, near Hamburg, on Tuesday.
A German court said on Friday the suspect would “soon” be sent back to Bulgaria and the Bulgarian justice ministry added later that the extradition would take place “next week at the earliest”.
According to the German authorities, the suspect had said during questioning “that he did not want to kill the victim and denied raping her”.
But he admitted to having “a verbal argument with the victim” and “under the strong influence of alcohol and drugs (he) punched the woman in the face, at which point she fell down. He then picked her up and threw her in a bush but said
he then left the scene.”
A number of Bulgarian TV channels have broadcast interviews with the suspect’s mother, Nadezhda Krasimirova, speaking from her home in the German town of Stade, who said her son had confessed to her the killing and was about to give himself up when he was arrested.
Bulgaria’s chief prosecutor, Sotir Tsatsarov, said on Wednesday that
“at this stage, we do not have proof to consider that the murder was related to her professional work.”
But Tsatsarov insisted that all possible leads were still being pursued.
“The arrest of the perpetrator does not in any way mean that we will discontinue working on all possible hypotheses for a motive,” he said.
After a memorial service attend ed by friends, colleagues and relatives, Marinova was buried on Friday in a small private ceremony in Ruse’s cemetery.
Marinova – who presented a current affairs talk programme on the local TVN television channel – is the third journalist to be murdered in Europe in the past 12 months after Jan Kuciak in Slovakia in February and Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta in October 2017.
Rest in peace: People attending a religious service for Marinova prior to her funeral in Ruse, Bulgaria. Inset: A picture of Marinova seen at her memorial in Holy Trinity Cathedral in Ruse.