Prominent Bulgarian crime journalist shot dead

AP News
Posted: Jan 05, 2010 3:57 PM

Gunmen in Bulgaria shot dead a prominent crime journalist and critically injured two other men in a busy part of the capital.

The shooting took place as Bobbie Tsankov, a 30-year-old popular radio show host, was entering an apartment building in Sofia with the other two men, a police statement said. The two gunmen fled on foot.

Tsankov, who frequently reported on organized crime in Bulgaria, died at the scene. His companions were hospitalized in critical condition.

Bulgaria is struggling to clean up its image, tarnished by widespread corruption and organized crime, that prompted repeated concern from other members of the European Union.

The country's new government, under conservative Prime Minister Boiko Borisov, has promised to fight corruption.

Since the conservatives came to power in July, four senior members of the former Socialist government have been indicted on corruption changes.

Tsankov, a radio journalist who was working on a book about the local crime scene.

In a recent television interview, he gave details about the activities and quarrels of several alleged crime bosses of the Bulgarian and Balkan underworld.

Tsankov had also allegedly met with Marko Milosevic, son of the late Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, who had warned him of revealing facts about cigarette smuggling channels through Bulgaria.

In a similar attack in downtown Sofia two years ago, gunmen shot dead writer Georgi Stoev, the author of several books on organized crime in Bulgaria.