Suspect in death of Russian COVID-19 scientist Alexander Kagansky released

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A suspect in the death of a prominent Russian scientist who was working on a COVID-19 vaccine is being released from police custody Monday pending a lie-detector test.

Police also released new details in the suspicious death of Alexander “Sasha” Kagansky, 45, who was found dead with a stab wound after plunging 14 stories from his high-rise apartment in St. Petersburg on Saturday, according to reports.

Kagansky, who was in his underwear, was discovered outside the building by a neighbor.

The suspect, identified as a childhood friend of Kagansky, told police they were celebrating the scientist’s birthday when he stabbed himself and leaped to his death, Moscow Times said.

One Russian news site, Fontanka.ru, identified the suspect as journalist Igor Ivanov.

Police held the suspect for questioning for 48 hours but were due to release him Monday pending a polygraph, Moscow Times said.

Kagansky, who was best known for his work on cancer research, spent 13 years working in Edinburgh, Scotland, until 2017.

He was most recently working as director of the Center for Genomic and Regenerative Medicine at Far Eastern Federal University in Russia.

According to reports he was working on a COVID-19 vaccine.

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