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Bulgaria regulator sacks state radio chief in free speech row

SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgaria's broadcast regulator sacked the chief of the country's public radio, BNR, on Thursday for taking its news channel off the air for hours last month in a row with a popular presenter known for her coverage of the graft-prone judicial system.

All five members of the Council for Electronic Media voted to oust Svetoslav Kostov as BNR general director and appointed Anton Mitov, currently director of the state-run broadcaster's archive department, as interim head.

The regulator, who last week launched a process to oust Kostov, said that taking BNR's Horizont news channel off the air for five hours on Sept. 13 grossly violated Bulgarians' right to information.

(Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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