Sofia, Oct 19 (AFP) Bulgarian prosecutors on Friday indicted a man accused of the rape and murder of a television journalist and the court hearing the case ordered him to remain in custody pending trial.
Severin Krasimirov, 20, was handcuffed and under heavy guard when he appeared before the regional court in the northern town of Ruse.
He told journalists that he had approached journalist Viktoria Marinova and hit her in the face.
“Yes, I am guilty. I am sorry, I can’t believe I did this,” he said.
Prosecutors called for him to be tried for Marinova’s rape and murder.
According to media reports, he had already admitted that to police in Germany where he was arrested.
But he said he had not known that Marinova had died and denied raping her.
If convicted, Krasimirov faces a jail sentence of 10-20 years for the rape and a possible life sentence for the murder.
The body of the 30-year-old television presenter was found near a jogging path along the Danube in Ruse on October 6.
Authorities said she died from blows to the head and suffocation, and that she was raped after her death.
The case shocked Bulgaria and drew strong international condemnation as observers suspected a possible connection between the crime and Marinova’s work.
However investigators found no evidence to support this theory.
They said the crime appeared to be “a spontaneous attack”.
Ruse prosecutor Kremena Kolitsova told the court that evidence and medical expertise showed the journalist had been punched seven times in the face and the resulting nasal fracture led to her suffocation.
Investigators said Marinova’s blood had also been found on Krasimirov’s clothes.
The prosecutor said the suspect should remain under arrest because of the risk of flight.
Krasimirov was arrested in the German town of Stade, near the northern city of Hamburg, on October 9, after leaving Bulgaria by car on the day after the killing. (AFP) RUP
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.