German court orders extradition of suspect in Bulgarian journalist's killing

A court in Germany has ordered the extradition of a Bulgarian man who was ...

Posted: Oct 12, 2018 1:38 PM
Updated: Oct 12, 2018 1:38 PM

A court in Germany has ordered the extradition of a Bulgarian man who was detained earlier this week on suspicion of the rape and murder of Bulgarian journalist Viktoriya Marinova.

The suspect was arrested in Stade, near the northern German city of Hamburg, on Tuesday.

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According to a statement from the Higher Regional court in Celle, the man will be extradited within the next 10 days from Germany to Bulgaria.

Bulgarian authorities accuse him of raping, killing and robbing Marinova, a 30-year-old television journalist, on October 6 in the northern Bulgarian city of Ruse.

The Stade District Court in Germany questioned the suspect on Wednesday and ordered his detention. According to the prosecutor in Celle, Bernd Kolkmeier, the suspect partially confessed to his actions during questioning.

In a statement, the prosecutor detailed the suspect's version of events. "He admitted that in the morning of 7 October 2018 he was under strong influence of alcohol and drugs and he hit a previously unknown young woman in the face over a random argument in a park on the banks of the Danube river in Ruse, Bulgaria," Kolkmeier said.

"He then lifted the woman up and threw her into a bush. He denies intent to kill as well as raping and robbing the woman."

Kolkmeier added that "according to the suspect he did not previously know the victim and this would exclude a political motivation. He will be extradited to Bulgaria and the Bulgarian authorities will take over the investigation.''

Kolkmeier told CNN the suspect was 20 years old. A spokeswoman for the Bulgarian Interior Ministry previously said he was 21.

Most recently, Marinova anchored the program "Detector" on TVN, in which she interviewed two journalists who were investigating alleged corruption involving European Union funds.

She previously hosted a lifestyle program and was involved with charity work. She was the mother of a young daughter.

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