Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova killed in Ruse

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

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

Marinova was found near the Danube river promenade in the town of Ruse on Saturday, after going out for a coffee and a jog, the regional prosecution said on Sunday at a press conference.

Georgy Georgiev, Ruse regional prosecutor, added: "Her death was caused by blows to the head and suffocation, and her mobile phone, auto keys, glasses and some of her clothing were missing".

Ms Marinova was planning a report about a separate case of alleged embezzlement when she was killed.

Corruption-plagued European Union member Bulgaria found itself under pressure Monday to find the killer of a television journalist whose brutal murder at the weekend has shocked the country and sparked global condemnation.

The Bulgarian prime minister, Boyko Borisov, said: "The best criminologists were sent to Ruse, let's not press them".

Berlin, October 7, 2018-The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the Bulgarian authorities to conduct a rigorous, thorough investigation into the killing of Victoria Marinova, presenter and administrative director for local television channel TVN. Previously she hosted a lifestyle program and was involved with charity work.

The killings were part of a wider trend, according to Dimitrios Papadimoulis, a left-wing Greek MEP, who said "corruption is threatening democracy" in Europe.

'We are in shock, ' a colleague of Ms Marinov from TVN told AFP under the condition of anonymity.

Viktoria Marinova used to speak about corruption schemes.

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She worked for a popular local TV station, TVN, which noted in a statement that it was experiencing "great pain and insurmountable grief". "It was meant to serve as an example, something like a warning", Yordanov told the news agency.

Amidst the events, vigils have been planned in Ruse, Vidin, Pleven, and the capital city of Sofia. Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak was shot dead along with his fiancee in February after he reported on corrupt ties between Slovak officials and Italian mobsters.

Prosecutors said she had been raped and beaten with such force that her face was unrecognisable.

The brutal killing of the Bulgarian journalist Victoria Marinova has drawn global condemnation and calls from media watchdogs for a comprehensive worldwide investigation.

Police investigators walk near a crime scene where TV journalist Viktoria Marinova was murdered in Ruse, Bulgaria on October 7, 2018. The first episode aired on September 30 and featured two investigative journalists looking into alleged fraud by businessmen and politicians involving European Union funds, reports the BBC.

In another high-profile case, journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva broke news a year ago that large caches of U.S., Saudi, and Bulgarian weapons were secretly being shipped to Syria.

Bulgaria ranked 111 out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders world press freedom index this year.

It was not clear whether the murder was linked to Marinova's journalistic activities, Balkan Insight reported.

He also called on the Bulgarian government to do more about protecting the safety of journalists working in the country generally.

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