Ukrainian woman’s death now an “accident”

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A second autopsy on the body of Lesya Bykova found that the woman’s death was an accident, disputing the findings of a first autopsy carried out by state pathologists which pointed to murder.

The 28-year-old Ukrainian woman had been found dead at the bottom of a cliff near tourist attraction Aphrodite’s Rock on March 11, with state examiners claiming they had found evidence that the woman had been strangled to death.

Upon the findings of the state pathologists, the police arrested her 31-year-old boyfriend, also from Ukraine, on charges of premeditated murder. The man had been remanded in custody for a total of eleven days, expected to be released on Friday.

Following claims by the suspect that the woman’s death was an accident, Dr Chara Spiliopoulou, a Greek medical examiner was brough in for a second post-mortem.

The first six-hour autopsy conducted by medical forensic examiners Papetta and Orthodoxou found the victim had injuries inconsistent with a free fall.

She had bruises around her neck, while her hyoid bone was fractured raising suspicions of premeditated murder.

It is also suspected the woman may have been raped before she died.

Confirmation

As reported by local media, Spiliopoulou’s report was handed to authorities on Thursday afternoon, confirming that the woman’s death was a result of her tumbling down from the 100 metre cliff near Aphrodite’s Rock.

According to media, the Greek medical examiner noted that she indeed found a hyoid fracture which is also found in cases of strangulation.

In this case, however, all the other evidence, such as the direction of the trauma indicated that it occurred during her fall, not as a result of foul play.

Spiliopoulou’s report was expected to be passed on to the legal services on Friday for further instructions.

If so, the 31-year-old suspect could be released within the day without being charged.

Paphos police will continue looking into Bykova’s death, now treating the case as an accident.

Under scrutiny

The findings of the second autopsy on Bykova’s body has put state medical examiners in a tight spot, as this is not the first time that the service’s findings had been proven wrong.

The state pathologists, back in 2018, had insisted that the death of a 46-year-old Bulgarian woman in Yeroskipou, had been the result of an agricultural accident.

But later post-mortems – a total of five were held on the victim – determined that she had died from dog bites.