Funeral of murdered TV journalist is held in Bulgaria

Farewell, my daughter: Raped and murdered journalist’s mother breaks down as hundreds attend funeral in Bulgaria, while Germany says it will extradite suspect after he confessed to ‘punching’ her

  • Funeral for Viktoria Marinova, 30, held in cathedral in Ruse, Bulgaria today 
  • The TV journalist was found dead in a park in the town on Saturday
  • Man, 21, arrested in Germany suspected of murder has confessed to the attack
  • Said he was drunk when he got into a fight with ‘woman he did not know’

The funeral for the TV journalist who was raped and murdered in Bulgaria last week has been held today.

Viktoria Marinova, 30, was found dead in a park near the Danube river in Ruse, on the Romanian border on Saturday.

There was a queue out the door of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Ruse, as friends and family turned up to pay their respects to the young reporter.

Several people, including the journalist’s mother, could be seen in tears by the casket, which had been decorated with white roses.

Tragic loss: The mother of killed Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova attends her funeral service in Holy Trinity Cathedral in Ruse, Bulgaria

Life lost: Viktoria Marinova, seen in this image by her condolence book, was found dead in a park near the Danube river in Ruse, on the Romanian border on Saturday

Paying their respects: Dozens of attendees queue up to say their final goodbye to the journalist

Meanwhile, the man arrested in Germany on suspicion of her murder has confessed to the attack, but denies raping and robbing her.

Severin Krassimirov, 21, told prosecutors in Celle, Germany, that he had not meant to kill the TV reporter.

  • Bulgarian is arrested in Germany and charged with raping and…

    Purported mother of suspect in Bulgaria slaying speaks out

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Prosecutors say the suspectconfessed to being under the influence of alcohol and drugs when he got into an argument with a woman he did not know in a park.

They say he told them he hit her in the face and threw her into bushes but ‘denied the intent to kill.’

Heartbreaking: Ms Marinova’s mother could be seen breaking down by the casket

Loss: A number of people openly mourned during the service held on Friday

Two men are seen embracing as they cry at Ms Marinova’s casket in the funeral

People attend the funeral ceremony of killed Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova in Holy Trinity Cathedral in Ruse, North East Bulgaria

In memoriam: The 30-year-old mother-of-one had recently been given her own show to anchor

Service: Dozens of people were in attendance during the funeral service in the cathedral

Final rest: The coffin of the murdered journalist is carried out of the church in Ruse

Prosecutors say Krassimirov, who was apprehended Tuesday in Germany on a European arrest warrant, will be extradited within the next 10 days. 

Ms Marinova’s final TV show as an anchor, broadcast on September 30, covered the an investigation into alleged corruption involving EU funds. 

Her last appearance was also her first anchoring the show, called Detector, on Ruse-based TV station TVN – a popular channel in northeastern Bulgaria 

Previously, Marinova, a mother of a seven-year-old daughter, was best known for presenting a regional lifestyle show and was not a household name on news TV.

The body of Viktoria Marinova, 30, was found in a park in Ruse, Bulgaria on Saturday

Police confirmed on Wednesday a man had been arrested in Germany over her killing

Police sources said that the crime did not immediately appear linked to the 30-year-old journalist’s work

Hundreds of Bulgarians attend a candlelight vigil in memory of Bulgarian television journalist Viktoria Marinova in the city of Ruse

A portrait of the Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova at a vigil in Sofia as hundreds across the country mourned her death

Speaking earlier this week, Bulgarian Interior Minister Mladen Marinov said that there was no evidence to suggest a link to Marinova’s work as a journalist so far – which was echoed by police and prosecutors. 

He said no match had been found for DNA samples collected so far from the crime scene, which is located close to a psychiatric clinic.

Bulgaria ranked 111 out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) world press freedom index this year, lower than any other EU member.

Widespread corruption, shady media ownership and suspected collusion between journalists, politicians, and oligarchs have made objective reporting a constant obstacle course, RSF said.  

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