SOFIA – Hundreds of people, including relatives, friends and anonymous citizens, gathered on Friday in northern Bulgaria to attend the funeral of a young journalist who was recently raped and killed with brutal violence.
Police found the beaten and strangled corpse of Victoria Marinova, 30, on Saturday in the northern Bulgarian city of Ruse, located next to the border with Romania, some 320 kilometers (199 miles) to the northeast of the capital city of Sofia.
Marinova, who worked for the private regional channel TVN as an administrative director and presenter, was buried in Ruse’s cemetery after a funeral ceremony at the local Orthodox church.
The alleged killer, who was arrested on Wednesday near the northern German city of Hamburg, is set to be extradited to Bulgaria within the next 10 days, according to a statement by the Celle prosecutor’s office.
The statement added that the 20-year-old suspect, who remains in preventative custody, has not objected to the extradition and has agreed to be subjected to an expedited and simplified process.
Marinova was the third journalist to have been killed in under a year in the European Union, after the deaths of an investigative reporter in Malta and another one in Slovakia. All three had been investigating corruption at the highest echelons of politics.
Marinova was probing into the alleged embezzlement of European funds by big businessmen and Bulgarian politicians in a country that scored the lowest in press freedom out of all EU member states in the latest ranking released by the non-profit Reporters Without Borders.
Police now believe that her murder, however, was not related to political motives.