Bulgaria indicts suspect in journalist killing

Severin Krasimirov faces a jail sentence of 10-20 years for the rape and a possible life sentence for the murder. (AP)
Updated 19 October 2018
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Bulgaria indicts suspect in journalist killing

  • ‘Yes, I am guilty. I am sorry, I can’t believe I did this’
  • The 30-year-old TV presenter was found near a jogging path along the Danube in Ruse on October 6

SOFIA: Bulgarian prosecutors on Friday indicted a man accused of the rape and murder of a television journalist and the court hearing the case ordered him to remain in custody pending trial.
Severin Krasimirov, 20, was handcuffed and under heavy guard when he appeared before the regional court in the northern town of Ruse.
He told journalists that he had approached journalist Viktoria Marinova and hit her in the face.
“Yes, I am guilty. I am sorry, I can’t believe I did this,” he said.
Prosecutors called for him to be tried for Marinova’s rape and murder.
According to media reports, he had already admitted that to police in Germany where he was arrested.
But he said he had not known that Marinova had died and denied raping her.
If convicted, Krasimirov faces a jail sentence of 10-20 years for the rape and a possible life sentence for the murder.
The body of the 30-year-old television presenter was found near a jogging path along the Danube in Ruse on October 6.
Authorities said she died from blows to the head and suffocation, and that she was raped after her death.
The case shocked Bulgaria and drew strong international condemnation as observers suspected a possible connection between the crime and Marinova’s work.
However, investigators found no evidence to support this theory.
They said the crime appeared to be “a spontaneous attack.”
Ruse prosecutor Kremena Kolitsova told the court that evidence and medical expertise showed the journalist had been punched seven times in the face and the resulting nasal fracture led to her suffocation.
Investigators said Marinova’s blood had also been found on Krasimirov’s clothes.
The prosecutor said the suspect should remain under arrest because of the risk of flight.
Krasimirov was arrested in the German town of Stade, near the northern city of Hamburg, on October 9, after leaving Bulgaria by car on the day after the killing.


Two journalists released in Libya: TV channel

Updated 25 May 2019
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Two journalists released in Libya: TV channel

  • The capital’s southern suburbs have been the target of an offensive launched April 4 by Khalifa Haftar
  • The release of the television journalists followed local and international condemnation of their detention

TRIPOLI: Two Libyan journalists held by an armed group for more than three weeks have been released, the television channel they work for said Saturday.
“We congratulate the press world for the release of our two colleagues, Mohamad Al-Gurj and Mohamad Al-Chibani, who were kidnapped by Haftar’s forces on May 2 while they were covering the assault on Tripoli,” said the private channel Libya Al-Ahrar, which is based in Turkey.
It said they were freed on Friday.
The capital’s southern suburbs have been the target of an offensive launched April 4 by Khalifa Haftar, military strongman of an eastern administration aimed at seizing Tripoli from an internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).
At least 510 people have been killed and around 2,500 wounded in the fighting, as well as more than 80,000 displaced, according to UN agencies.
The release of the television journalists followed local and international condemnation of their detention, including from media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
In a press freedom index compiled by RSF, Libya ranks a lowly 162nd out of 180 countries.