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.


Malta journalist murder masterminds identified: report

Three men stand charged with Caruana Galizia’s murder. (Reuters)
Updated 18 November 2018
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Malta journalist murder masterminds identified: report

  • A group of “more than two” Maltese nationals had been identified as having ordered her killing
  • Caruana Galizia, who died on October 16 last year aged 53, sought to expose scandals from petrol smuggling to money laundering, implicating members of the government and organized crime

VALLETTA: The masterminds behind the 2017 car-bomb murder of Maltese journalist and blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia have been identified according to unnamed police sources quoted by The Sunday Times of Malta.
The report quoted high-ranking officers as saying that a group of “more than two” Maltese nationals had been identified as having ordered her killing.
Three suspects are under arrest for having carried out the murder and facing trial, but the identity of whoever ordered it has remained a mystery.
Caruana Galizia, who died on October 16 last year aged 53, sought to expose scandals from petrol smuggling to money laundering, implicating members of the government and organized crime.
Her blog also launched highly personal attacks on Maltese politicians.
Caruana Galizia’s journalist son Matthew last month blasted what he called a “system of impunity” he said was protecting those who ordered her killing.
Her son, who believes the murder was ordered by powerful figures, said it would “send a terrible lesson if only the people who pressed the button to detonate the bomb ended up in prison.”
Three men stand charged with her murder. Brothers Alfred Degiorgio and George Degiorgio as well as Vince Muscat were arrested on December 4 last year and charged with the murder. Their case is still pending.
The Caruana Galizia family said on Sunday that they was not formally informed by the police that the suspected masterminds had been identified.