Bulgaria under pressure to solve reporter's 'horrendous murder'

Holding a poster of missing Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi a man stands near the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul

Bulgarian authorities on Tuesday will release and won't charge a man taken into custody in connection with the slaying of Bulgarian television reporter Viktoria Marinova, whose body was found after she highlighted possible government corruption.

And Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said Sunday that authorities were working together alongside the "best forensics" team to solve the murder.

Preliminary investigations showed the cause of death was blows to the head and suffocation.

'We are in shock. But a Bulgarian investigative online site owner called for an independent global inquiry.

The Committee to Protect Journalists is urging police in Bulgaria to conduct a "rigorous, thorough investigation" into Marinova's case.

"There is justified global skepticism about the Bulgarian state's commitment to press freedom and only a comprehensive and thorough investigation will assuage those doubts", he added.

Bulgarian officials condemned the attack on Marinova, but they were also insistent that there was nothing to suggest that she had been killed because of her work.

Mourners are holding flowers, candles and pictures of the 30-year-old, as well as images of Anna Politkovskaya, a fearless Russian journalist who was killed in 2006 in her apartment block.

The TVN channel expressed shock over the killing of its colleague and board member, but declined to comment further, saying it would give investigators time to do their job first.

A television journalist has been brutally murdered in south-eastern Europe, with her body found in a park.

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According to the media reports, Marinova was raped, beaten and strangled.

According to the Reporters Without Borders world press freedom index, Bulgaria ranks lower than other European Union member.

Yordanov said that "to get to the truth we are calling for an independent investigation. we want independent European investigators to get involved because we believe the Bulgarian authorities are part of this country's criminal network".

He said: "Viktoria's death, the brutal manner in which she was killed, is an execution". Those responsible must be held to account'.

Bivol's owner Asen Yordanov stated that the murder of Marinova is a warning for other journalists. We condemn any effort to intimidate journalists from reporting on corruption.

The pair were briefly detained by police while attempting to stop the destruction of documents linked to the scheme, drawing condemnation from Reporters Without Borders (RSF). A Bulgarian investigative online media site went even further, calling for an independent global inquiry, saying that a Bulgarian probe could be compromised by corrupt Bulgarian officials.

In October 2017, Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a vehicle bomb while investigating corruption among Malta's ruling elite.

The two had been investigating alleged fraud with European Union funds linked to big businessmen and politicians when they were detained by armed Bulgarian police for more than seven hours in mid-September as they followed up on a tip that crucial documents were being burned in a field outside the capital, Sofia.

Violence against women has also been widespread in Bulgaria.

In the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, mourners gathered outside a church.

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