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Remand expected for Petra tou Romiou murder suspect

Police on Monday are expected to request a renewal of the remand order for the 31-year-old man suspected of involvement in the death of Lesya Bykova ten days ago near Petra tou Romiou in Paphos.

The 28-year-old Ukrainian woman was found dead in the vicinity of Aphrodite’s Rock on March 11.

The remand is expected to be granted pending results from a second autopsy conducted on her body.

The victim’s partner was arrested following the results of the first autopsy, which concluded there were signs of sexual abuse and strangulation.

Police spokesman and head of Paphos CID Michalis Nicolaou said the remand order for the only suspect in the case expires on Tuesday. According to current evidence police have not ruled out premeditated murder, Nicolaou said.

“The Paphos police has the official opinion of the two medical examiners […] which speaks of a criminal act,” Nicolaou said. “For now,” he continued, “Paphos CID is investigating premeditated murder.”

If no conclusion emerges from the second autopsy, carried out on Wednesday by Greek medical examiner Chara Spiliopoulou in the presence of state pathologists Angeliki Papeta and Orthodoxos Orthodoxou, and former state pathologist Marios Matsakis who represents the 31-year-old suspect, the arrest warrant is expected to be renewed.

Nicolaou noted that upon receiving the results of lab tests Spiliopoulou will announce her conclusion. He told the Cyprus News Agency that Spiliopoulou’s report will play a determining role and upon completion of the investigation the case file will be sent to legal services.

Medical examiner Matsakis also conducted investigations at the scene of the alleged crime, inspecting the clothes of both the suspect and the victim.

Meanwhile, investigations continue with the taking of statements from family and friends of the couple, and from persons who had been out with them the night before the fatal event, Nicolaou said.

Examination of CCTV footage is also being carried out, as well as tracing of evidence from couple’s route from Kato Paphos to Petra tou Romiou, while police are asking for any person who can help in the case to come forward.

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