Cyprus Mail

Suspect in woman’s fall released following second post-mortem (Updated)

aphrodites rockbig

The 31-year-old partner of 28-year-old Lesya Bykova who was found dead near Aphrodite’s Rock earlier this month was on Friday released from custody as a second autopsy showed no evidence of strangulation or sexual abuse.

The legal service ordered the release of the suspect saying the results of the scientific tests and rest of the testimonial material appear to indicate that Bykova’s death was not a criminal act, Paphos CID chief Michalis Nicolaou told the Cyprus News Agency.

He added that the case file will be completed and forwarded to the necessary legal authorities.

Bykova’s partner was arrested on suspicion of premeditated murder, rape, femicide and kidnapping following the results of the first autopsy, which concluded there were signs of sexual abuse and strangulation. He was with her when she was found dead on March 11.

Since then, he was also investigated for giving false information to the police as, according to head of the investigation Kyriakos Charalambous, he had given contradictory statements about what happened that day at Petra tou Romiou (Aphrodite’s Rock).

But on Friday, police spokesman Christos Andreou said all his allegations have been corroborated and appear to be valid.

“In the preliminary stages of the case, the facts were different. When the investigators then proceeded to identify or cross-check what he had said, it appeared that the allegations he had made were all true.”

In the second autopsy, which was to be delivered to the Attorney-general on Friday, there is no evidence of strangulation or sexual abuse that could incriminate the 31-year-old man.

Media reported that the results identify a fracture of the hyoid bone, a finding of the preliminary report of the first autopsy. This however could not have caused the death of the 28-year-old it was determined.

It did not reveal any signs of suffocation that would suggest strangulation and the neck’s hyoid bone appears to have been broken when the woman fell from a great height. There also appeared to be no signs of sexual abuse, evidence that first led the police authorities to arrest and detain the expatriate, who claimed from the outset that it was an accident.

The second autopsy was carried out by Greek medical examiner Chara Spiliopoulou in the presence of state pathologists Angeliki Papeta and Orthodoxos Orthodoxou, and former state pathologist Marios Matsakis representing the 31-year-old suspect.

Earlier this week, the court had decided to renew the remand of the woman’s partner for another three days, which expired on Friday.

In its decision, the court said not renewing the remand could adversely affect the investigative work of police as the suspect could influence witnesses from whom statements are expected to be taken, or destroy evidence that is being sought. There was also the possibility of him fleeing to areas not controlled by the Republic, it added.

The court head the suspect had given officers different, contradicting information as to how and where the victim fell and concerning his own subsequent actions.

When officers arrived at the scene, the suspect showed them four different spots from where the victim allegedly fell, which had a considerable distance between them.

Initially, the 31-year-old indicated a point from which he claimed he climbed through to reach the beach, which he said was very steep, but then changed his tune to say that he did not remember the exact point from which he climbed up and down.

He added that in his statement the suspect had said the victim was taking photos of the view, when previously he had said she was trying to take a selfie.

He also told the police that he left his phone to charge in his car while he went to the restaurant at Petra tou Romiou, which contrasted his official statement, where he said that he went to his workplace in Timi and then to the house of his work supervisor.

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