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Page last updated at 14:10 GMT, Thursday, 7 January 2010

Bulgarian 'crime boss' charged over Tsankov murder

Bulgarian police speak to witnesses at the site where Tsankov was killed, Sofia, Bulgaria, 5 January 2010
Tsankov was gunned down in a busy district of Bulgaria's capital

Bulgarian prosecutors have charged a suspected criminal leader in connection with the murder on Tuesday of a crime journalist and radio show host.

Krasimir Marinov, known as "The Big Margin", arrested hours after the killing, has now been charged with incitement to murder.

Boris "Bobbie" Tsankov, who reported on the mafia in Bulgaria, was killed on a crowded street in the capital Sofia.

Two men who were with him were also shot and critically wounded.

Since his book The Secrets of the Mobsters, alleging links between mafia figures and businessmen was published last November, Mr Tsankov said he had received numerous death threats.

Just hours after the murder, Krasimir Marinov was arrested, but police are still searching for his younger brother Nikolai Marinov "The Small Margin" in connection with an alleged plot to kill Mr Tsankov.

The brothers, together with three other men, have been on trial since 2006 for plotting assassinations and participating in organised crime.

Funds lost

Bulgaria is under pressure from the EU to tackle high-level crime and corruption.

In 2008, Georgi Stoev, the author of several books on Bulgarian organised crime, was killed in a similar attack.

Months later, Bulgaria lost access to more than 500m euros (£430m) of EU funding for failing to deal with corruption and organised crime.

Responding to Tuesday's killing, European Commission spokesman Mark Gray said "shootings continue to be a problem that needs to be urgently addressed in Bulgaria".

"Any shooting is unacceptable and we hope that the Bulgarian authorities will bring those that have perpetrated this act to justice as quickly as possible."



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