Egypt’s Public Prosecution has ordered an investigation into the death of Viktor Hvozd, Ukraine’s former head of the foreign intelligence service, who died in a scuba diving accident in the charming South Sinai city of Dahab.
Hvozd died while being transferred to the Dahab Central Hospital and his death was reported on Friday, the prosecution said in a statement on Saturday.
A Ukrainian friend of Hvozd, who was with him while diving, ruled out any criminal suspicion, it added.
The friend noted that the deceased was diving at a depth of 40 metres on that day. He suggested that the death occurred as the deceased ascended to the surface of the water too fast, saying he tried to prevent him from doing this but to no avail.
He added that Hvozd removed his breathing apparatus once he ascended to the surface and was still alive at that moment, the statement read.
He said he and an Egyptian diver managed to take him out to the beach and gave him first aid but he then died.
The prosecution said it questioned Hvozd’s friend, the owner of the diving center that the deceased used its equipment and the diving trainer who accompanied them.
They all affirmed that Hvozd had an international license that allowed him to dive at a depth of 100 metres.
They confirmed that the death occurred as a result of his extreme fatigue after he suddenly rose to the water surface, ruling out any criminal suspicion.
The prosecution said their conclusion goes in line with the police’s investigations.
According to the statement, the prosecution had examined Hvozd's body, saying it did not detect any apparent injuries.
It, however, said there was cyanosis in his neck and face, secretions out of his mouth and red spots on his back and feet.
The prosecution informed the Ukrainian Embassy of the incident to send a delegate to attend the investigation procedures, the statement read.
The prosecution also assigned a forensic doctor to examine the body and disclose the cause of the death.
It also sent the diving equipment the deceased used to Egypt’s Chamber of Diving and Watersports (CDWS) to examine their suitability for the depth Hvozd reached before his death.
Lieutenant General Hvozd was Ukraine’s chief of foreign intelligence service between 2014 and 2016.
Hvozd assumed several high-level posts in several countries and had a Doctorate degree in military sciences, according to Ukrainian Independent Information Agency (UNIAN).