“It is with great sadness that we have learned about the murder of Viktoria Marinova, a young Bulgarian journalist. Our thoughts are with her, with her family and friends. The commission expects a swift and thorough investigation by the responsible authorities that will bring those responsible to justice and clarify whether this attack was linked to her work. We must make sure that journalists everywhere are safe and make their invaluable contributions to our democratic societies,” Schinas said.
The body of the investigative journalist was discovered in Ruse, northern Bulgaria, last Saturday. The 30-years old was investigating a case of embezzlement involving private companies misspending EU funding.
“We take very seriously any allegation or suspicion regarding misuse of the structural fund and we are aware of media reports and allegations regarding Bulgaria. We are going to inform OLAF (the European anti-fraud office) about these questions and we have also already requested information regarding these allegations from the authorities responsible for managing this program,” Schinas said.
Marinova is at least the third journalist to have suffered a violent death in the EU over the past 12 months.
Bulgaria ranked 111th out of 180 countries on the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index this year. It holds the lowest position of all 28 EU member countries.