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And three! A Bulgarian journalist murdered. She was investigating a European fraud

(B2) Viktoria Marinova, a 30-year-old presenter of a news program on the Bulgarian television channel TVN, was murdered in broad daylight in Ruse on Saturday (October 6). His body was found in a city park.

This is starting to do a lot! Almost a year ago, Maltese Daphne Caruana Galizia died (October 16) in the explosion of her car. 4 months later, it was the turn of a Slovak Jan Kuciak to be assassinated (February 21).

Very clear intimidation

The last report presented by Viktoria Marinova took up a report by investigative journalists from the Bivol site, on a gigantic fraud linked to the embezzlement of European funds (see box). After this topic was published, two of these journalists — Attila Biro, Romanian editor of the investigative portal Rise Project Romania, and the Bulgarian Dimitar Stoyanov of the media Bivol renowned for its investigations into corruption - had been arrested by the police in Pernik in the suburbs of Sofia. And the NGO Reporters Without Borders had already asked that their protection is ensured. RSF reiterated this request this evening: the other TVN journalists who worked on the same sensitive story as Viktoria Marinova must be placed under police protection pending the results of the investigation ».

A very disturbing twist

At the Association of European Journalists (AJE) - France section, we are more than concerned about the turn taken in recent months in several European countries. When journalists inform, they disturb. And we tell them so. When they investigate, they get in the way. And they are denied the necessary access. When they point the finger at files that are too sensitive, then all means seem good to get rid of them. Including assassination. This can not go on !

European authorities must take up the issue

We call on the Bulgarian authorities to shed light on this heinous murder. But we are also asking the European authorities to take up this problem quickly and energetically. The corruption of some people, including high-ranking people in government, cannot last. European investigations must be carried out, quickly and energetically, so that the culprits are identified, removed from power if necessary, and tried.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

vice-president of AJE-France

Bivol's investigation revealed that a group of consultancy firms were involved in manipulating European funding auctions. The prices of goods and services paid for with European funds were inflated by 20 to 30%. Shortly after the information was presented at a press conference, journalists learned that some of the allegedly fraudulent documents were being transported outside Sofia to be destroyed. Journalists spun them. They were then apprehended by police officers and arrested (information from Rise project).

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Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).