Exhumation of journalist who underwent euthanasia ordered

An Athens prosecutor and the chief of the police’s homicide division have ordered the exhumation of the remains of prominent journalist Alexandros Velios, who died by euthanasia after a losing battle with cancer earlier this month.

Authorities are seeking to conduct tests on Velios’s remains to determine whether he was assisted or administered the fatal dose of medication himself.

The exhumation will take place either Friday or early next week, and will be supervised by a judicial official, police and a coroner. 

The investigation seeks to determine whether any other individual is complicit in the assisted suicide of Velios, who had publicly supported a patient’s right to choose his or her own manner of death. He had also expressed his intention to end his own life by euthanasia as he lost the battle with an aggressive form of cancer.

According to reports, witness testimonies have suggested that another individual may have been involved in what had been originally presented as non-assisted euthanasia. The person in question is said to have been a close friend of the 63-year-old journalist and a doctor.

Velios, who rose to prominence in the 80s and 90s working for various media groups and TV channels as a journalist, commentator and columnist, had in the past, reportedly, expressed a desire to die by assisted euthanasia in Switzerland.

In a letter he wrote shortly before his death he said he had lived a creative life, making few compromises. “I leave complete,” he said.