The Latest: Man to be freed in Bulgarian journalist probe

This undated image made from video provided by TV Ruse shows journalist Viktoria Marinova in Bulgaria. Bulgarian police are investigating the rape, beating and slaying of a female television reporter whose body was dumped near the Danube River after she reported on the possible misuse of European Union funds in Bulgaria. Authorities discovered the body of 30-year-old Viktoria Marinova on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018 in the northern town of Ruse near the Romanian border. One Bulgarian media site demanded an EU investigation, fearing that Bulgarian officials were complicit in the corruption. (TV Ruse via AP)
A man walks after lighting candles next to a portrait of slain television reporter Viktoria Marinova after a vigil at the Liberty Monument in Ruse, Bulgaria, Monday, Oct. 8, 2018. Bulgarian police are investigating the rape, beating and slaying of a female television reporter whose body was dumped near the Danube River after she reported on the possible misuse of European Union funds in Bulgaria. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
A portrait of the Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova, killed in the northern town of Ruse, is seen during a vigil in Sofia, Monday, Oct. 8, 2018. Bulgarian police are investigating the rape, beating and slaying of a female television reporter whose body was dumped near the Danube River after she reported on the possible misuse of European Union funds in Bulgaria. (AP Photo/Valentina Petrova)
A woman places flowers next to a portrait of slain television reporter Viktoria Marinova during a vigil at the Liberty Monument in Ruse, Bulgaria, Monday, Oct. 8, 2018. Bulgarian police are investigating the rape, beating and slaying of a female television reporter whose body was dumped near the Danube River after she reported on the possible misuse of European Union funds in Bulgaria. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

RUSE, Bulgaria — The Latest on the slaying of a female journalist in Bulgaria (all times local):

8:10 p.m.

A senior Bulgarian police officer says authorities will release a man taken into custody and he won't be charged in connection with the slaying of a journalist who highlighted suspected government corruption.

Teodor Atanassov, chief police officer of the northern town of Ruse, told reporters Tuesday that the man, who wasn't identified, would be freed "very shortly." He declined to provide further details on the ongoing investigation.

Viktoria Marinova's body was found Saturday dumped near the Danube River. The 30-year-old Marinova hosted a show last month featuring two investigative journalists who were detained for their work on suspected fraud involving EU funds.

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7:45 p.m.

A U.S. freedom of expression group has called for a thorough and swift investigation into the slaying of Bulgarian television journalist Viktoria Marinova.

PEN America said Tuesday that "the horrifying rape and murder.... demands an immediate, rigorous and independent investigation."

It said that if evidence emerged that she was killed because of her investigative work," she'd be the latest European journalist "killed while seeking to shine a light on corruption."

Police are investigating the rape and slaying of the 30-year-old Marinova, whose strangled body was found Saturday near the Danube River. Marinova hosted a show last month featuring two investigative journalists who were detained for their work on suspected fraud involving European Union funds.

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5:30 p.m.

Bulgaria's Interior Ministry says top investigators have been assigned to solve the "brutal" slaying of a Bulgarian journalist.

The ministry said "a Romanian citizen of Ukrainian descent" was taken into custody Tuesday and others leads were being pursued.

The body of 30-year-old Viktoria Marinova, a TV journalist who highlighted possible government corruption, was found Saturday dumped near the Danube River.

Interior Minister Mladen Marinov and Bulgaria's leading organized crime investigator, Ivaylo Spiridonov, are part of the investigating team.

The ministry says the "team continues to actively work on solving the brutal crime."

Marinova hosted a show last month featuring two investigative journalists who were detained for their work on suspected fraud involving European Union funds.

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3:20 p.m.

A senior Bulgarian police officer has confirmed that a man has been taken into custody in connection with the slaying of a journalist who highlighted suspected government corruption.

Teodor Atanassov, chief police officer of the northern town of Ruse, on Tuesday said police were holding a man for 24 hours for questioning. He identified the individual as "a Romanian citizen of Ukrainian descent" and said the man had not been formally declared a suspect.

The body of Viktoria Marinova was found Saturday dumped near the Danube River. Marinova, 30, hosted a show last month featuring two investigative journalists who were detained for their work on suspected fraud involving EU funds.

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3:15 p.m.

Bulgarian national radio reports that a suspect has been arrested in connection with the slaying of Bulgarian television reporter Viktoria Marinova, whose body was found dumped after she highlighted possible government corruption.

Tuesday's report said that according to unconfirmed information from the interior ministry, the suspect is "a Romanian citizen with a passport from Moldova." 

No other information was immediately available.

Prosecutors said late Monday they had opened an investigation into the suspected misuse of European Union funds, as police investigate the rape and slaying of Marinova, whose strangled body was found Saturday dumped near the Danube River. Marinova, 30, hosted a show last month featuring two investigative journalists who were detained for their work on suspected fraud involving EU funds.

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1:15 p.m.

Bulgarian prosecutors have opened an investigation into the suspected misuse of European Union funds, following the brutal slaying of a television reporter who highlighted possible government corruption.

The interior ministry announced the probe late Monday. Television reporter Viktoria Marinova, whose strangled body was found Saturday, hosted a show last month where the EU funds fraud was reported by the investigative online site Bivol.bg.

The ministry said prosecutors are examining the GP Group, the building company alleged to have misused the EU money, and froze 14 million euros ($16 million) of its assets.

Meanwhile, police are investigating the rape and slaying of Marinova, 30, whose body was dumped near the Danube River.

She was a director of TVN, a TV station in Ruse, and a TV presenter for two investigative programs.

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