A German court said on October 12 that a man suspected of raping and murdering Bulgarian television journalist Viktoria Marinova will be extradited to Bulgaria in the coming days.

According to a statement from the superior regional court in Celle, Germany, the 20-year-old suspect said during questioning “that he did not want to kill the victim and denied raping her.”

“The arrested man admitted to the court that he had a verbal argument with the victim on October 6, 2018,” it said.

The court said the suspect admitted being under the strong influence of alcohol and drugs, and that he punched Marinova in the face, “at which point she fell down.”

He said he picked her up and threw her in a bush but then left the scene of the altercation, according to the court’s statement.

German authorities have not released the name of the suspect, who was arrested in Lower Saxony on October 9 at the request of Bulgarian authorities.

Bulgarian officials have identified him as Severin Krasimirov, a resident of Ruse.

Under an expedited procedure requested by prosecutors and agreed to by the accused, he must be extradited by October 21.

Marinova presented a current affairs talk program called “Detector” for Bulgaria’s TVN television channel.

Bulgarian prosecutors have said that the killing does not appear to be linked to the victim’s work as a journalist.

Authorities said she died from blows to the head and suffocation. She was also raped.

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