BERLIN: A German court said Friday that a man suspected of the rape and murder of Bulgarian television journalist Viktoria Marinova would be extradited to Bulgaria in the coming days.
“The extradition of the accused can be expected soon,” the superior regional court in Celle said in a statement. It added that the suspect, who was not identified, had said during questioning “that he did not want to kill the victim and denied raping her”.
A relevant piece published earlier:
A television journalist has been brutally murdered in Bulgaria’s northern town of Ruse, prosecutors said Sunday, in a case that has sparked international condemnation. The body of 30-year-old Viktoria Marinova, whom authorities identified only by her initials, was found on Saturday in a park, Ruse regional prosecutor Georgy Georgiev said. The death was caused by blows on the head and suffocation, he added. “Her mobile phone, car keys, glasses and part of her clothes were missing,” Georgiev said, adding that prosecutors were probing all leads — both personal and linked to Marinova’s job. Interior Minister Mladen Marinov later confirmed to journalists that the victim had also been raped. Prime Minister Boyko Borisov expressed hope that the investigation would succeed because of the “work that has been done. Thanks to a large amount of DNA material collected it is just a matter of time before the perpetrator will be found.” Police sources told AFP that the crime did not immediately appear linked to her work. The OSCE’s media freedom representative Harlem Desir condemned Marinova’s killing on Twitter: “Shocked by the horrific murder of investigative journalist Victoria Marinova in #Bulgaria. Urgently call for a full and thorough investigation. Those responsible must be held to account.” Marinova was an administrative director of Ruse’s small private TVN television and had recently launched a new current events talk show called “Detector”. The first episode of the show on September 30 broadcast interviews with investigative journalists Dimitar Stoyanov from the Bivol.bg website and Attila Biro from the Romanian Rise Project, about an investigation of alleged fraud with EU funds linked to big businessmen and politicians. The pair were briefly detained by police, drawing condemnation from Reporters Without Borders (RSF). “We are in shock. In no way, under any form, never have we received any threats – aimed at her or the television,” a journalist from TVN told AFP under the condition of anonymity, adding that he and his colleagues feared for their safety. In a statement on their Facebook page, Bivol.bg insisted for police protection of Marinova’s colleagues. A journalist is killed on average every week around the world, according to figures compiled by RSF. Among the most high-profile recent cases were Malta’s anti-corruption blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia who died in a car bombing outside her home in October 2017, and top Slovak reporter Jan Kuciak who was shot dead with his fiancee at their home in February. Bulgaria tumbled to 111th place in the annual RSF media freedom ranking in 2018 – the lowest among EU member states. Widespread corruption, shady media ownership and suspected collusion between journalists, politicians, and oligarchs have made objective reporting a constant obstacle course, RSF said. According to the Bulgaria-based Association of European Journalists, reporters from small regional and local media are particularly subjected to pressure from local businessmen and politicians and outright threats, often leading to self-censorship. Violence against women has also been widespread in Bulgaria, with several brutal killings of women by their ex-boyfriends and ex-husbands causing an outcry in the media recently. A candlelight vigil in Marinova’s memory is organized for Monday evening in Sofia.
FIA confiscates record of private schools
HYDERABAD: A team of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) led by Director FIA Syed Wasee Haider seized computers and records from several private schools in compliance with the Supreme Court’s order.
An official of the FIA told that the record of last 7 years had been seized from over half a dozens of branches of a school system.
He informed that the court had ordered the FIA to seize all the records including electronic and manual from the schools for not complying with the order over exorbitant school fees. The official said the confiscated record would undergo a forensic audit.
APS tragedy commemorated at PA
LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly, through a unanimously adopted resolution today, paid homage to the martyrs of the Army Public School (APS), Peshawar, on the fourth anniversary of the tragedy.
The House condemned the terrorist attack in which 132 students and 10 staff members of the school were martyred.
The joint resolution, moved by PML-N lawmaker Hina Pervaiz Butt and a PTI member, condemned the incident and reiterated nation’s resolve to continue to fight against terrorism. It demanded the federal government to declare December 16 as a national day against extremism and terrorism. The House also adopted a resolution felicitating the federal government on its effective response to the United States over blacklisting of Pakistan for religious freedom violations.
Opposition lawmakers Azma Bokhari and Waris Kallu, speaking in the House, criticized the Donald Trump administration for maligning Pakistan with regard to minorities in Pakistan. “Putting Pakistan on the Human Rights Watch List is a great injustice,” they added. They said that minorities in Pakistan were enjoying more freedom than in India and it was beyond comprehension why Pakistan was included in the Human Rights Watch List and India was spared.
Earlier, the tenth and last sitting of the fifth session of the current assembly started an hour and 33 minutes behind schedule with Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari in the chair. As many as 69 MPAs were present at the outset of the sitting. It is pertinent to mention here that leader of the opposition, Hamza Shehbaz, was not attending the sessions for the last nine days.
Meanwhile, Speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi formed a committee for settling the issue of the Production Order of lawmakers in the House. Provincial Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Muhammad Basharat Raja would head the committee (Production Order Committee), which would make recommendations for introducing amendments to the rules of procedure of the provincial assembly of Punjab regarding a production order of any of the lawmaker.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led opposition had asked for production order of their fellow lawmaker Khawaja Salman Rafique, who is currently in custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The House held a discussion on the annual report on the status of women 2016. Later, the chair adjourned the session sine die.
Madrassa mulla arrested for hitting pupils!
HYDERABAD: Police on Friday arrested a madrassa (Seminary) teacher who was caught torturing students in a video that went viral on social media.
SSP Hyderabad took notice of the viral video which captured the madrassah teacher, identified as Shabbir Ahmed s/o Ghulam Hussain, beating up students who had come to learn the Holy Quran in a mosque situated within limits of the Cantt Police Station.
In the video, the madrassa mulla can be seen hitting children with a pipe and arguing when asked not to beat them up by a man who had come to pray at the mosque.
The madrassa teacher is heard in the video arguing back and telling the man to continue praying. “No one will say anything even if I beat them to death,” he is heard saying and then continuing to hit the children.
Sindh IG Kaleem Imam has sought a report from SSP Hyderabad regarding an inquiry into the matter and the action taken by the police in this regard.
Relevant: The Hyderabad police today arrested a mosque cleric allegedly for beating his students with a belt. The video showing the cleric beating the students at Sarhindi Mosque in Masoom Shah Colony in the limits of Cantonment police station. went viral on social media. The video shows the cleric Qari Shabbir Ahmed Ansari, the son of the mosque’s Pesh Imam Ghulam Hussain Ansari, whacking the students with a thick rubber belt. Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah and Inspector General of Police Sindh, Syed Kaleem Imam taking notice of the incident directed the district police to take action and submit a report. Senior Superintendent of Police Hyderabad Sarfaraz Nawaz Shaikh’s directed the immediate arrest of the suspect. Later an FIR was registered against him on the complaint of Ahmed Jan, father of Shahzeb, a student. He was booked under Section 328-A of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), which brings imprisonment for 1 to 3 years after conviction in addition to fine. The section was inserted through the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2014, in the PPC to discourage corporal punishment.