Investigators probing the death of the journalist and founder of the New Region news website, Alexander Shchetinin, have ordered a number of tests to be carried out in order to confirm or dismiss the suicide theory, Kyiv police spokesperson Oksana Blyschyk said.
"Suicide is the main theory currently under consideration but we also have an open criminal inquiry under Article 115 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code, which is premeditated murder," Blyschyk told Channel 5 on Monday.
The scene inspection and witnesses' accounts gathered by investigators (no sign of disturbances in the journalist's flat and the locked doors) point to a suicide, she said.
"However, investigators have now ordered a number of forensic tests, both medical and ballistic ones. We are awaiting their conclusions to gather enough evidence to be able to take procedural action: either to confirm the suicide theory or dismiss it and probe it already as a premeditated murder," Blyschyk said.
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It was reported that Shchetinin was found with a gunshot wound to his head in his apartment on August 28, 2016. A criminal inquiry was launched under Article 115 part one (premeditated murder) of the Ukrainian Criminal Code with an additional "suicide" classification.
KyivOperativ, a crimes news portal, said on Facebook that the journalist was found on August 28 on the balcony by his friends who came to congratulate him on his birthday: "Alexander was sitting on a chair with a gunshot wound to his head (the pistol was under the chair)."