Skip to main content

World Suspect in killing of Bulgarian journalist arrested in Germany

Police in Germany have arrested a suspect in the rape and killing of a Bulgarian television journalist whose work highlighted corruption in the East European country, officials said Wednesday.

Bulgaria’s prosecutor-general, Sotir Tsatsarov, confirmed the arrest of Severin Krassimirov, a 21-year-old Bulgarian citizen.

Prosecutors in the northwestern German state of Lower Saxony said the suspect was arrested Tuesday evening outside the city of Hamburg on a European arrest warrant. Prosecutors will examine whether he can be extradited and apply to have him put in formal custody.

Story continues below advertisement

Bulgarian Interior Minister Mladen Marinov said investigators had found DNA evidence on the clothes and body of Viktoria Marinova, who was raped and strangled on Saturday in the northern town of Ruse.

Bulgarian media reported that Mr. Krassimirov’s mother lives in Germany. The interior ministry said he left Bulgaria early Saturday afternoon, crossing the bridge at Ruse over the Danube into Romania.

“There is physical evidence to link to the murder,” Mr. Marinov said Wednesday. He said Mr. Krassimirov, a resident of Ruse, had a criminal record for scrap-metal theft.

The minister said investigators had spoken to Ms. Marinova’s family and friends and “there is no apparent link to her work.” Mr. Tsatsarov said the evidence suggested it was “a spontaneous attack, not premeditated.”

However, he added that investigators were examining “all possible lines of investigation.”

Prime Minister Boyko Borissov offered condolences to her family and thanked investigators for their work.

However, he said he would withdraw his support for German MEP Manfred Weber, a leading candidate to for the next head of the European Commission, because of tweets he made associating the death of Ms. Marinova with those of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak. Both were killed due to their probes into corrupt officials.

Story continues below advertisement

On Wednesday, Mr. Weber tweeted: “Bulgarian authorities have acted swiftly and effectively. We have full confidence in the Bulgarian authorities to find justice for the family and loved ones.”

Mr. Marinova was host of a show last month featuring two investigative journalists who were detained for their work on suspected fraud involving European Union funds.

While Ms. Marinova didn’t appear to have been closely involved in the fraud investigation, her show touched on a sensitive subject in Bulgaria, where corruption is endemic. The Balkan country, which joined the EU in 2007, was ranked 71st on Transparency International’s corruption list last year.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter