Vatopedi Monastery abbot to remain in custody despite partial acquittal

Moscow, January 13, 2012

The partial acquittal by the Greek supreme court of Archimandrite Ephrem, the abbot of the Vatopedi Monastery in the Mt. Athos prosecuted in connection with real estate deals between his monastery and the Greek state, does not mean his release from custody.

"This decision [acquitting Father Ephrem] applies to the ruling of the Rhodope court of appeal but not to the ruling of the Athens court of appeal under which Father Ephrem was taken into custody. The acquittal by the [supreme court] is one more positive phase in the Vatopedi case but it doesn't cancel the order on the pretrial detention of Archimandrite Ephrem," spokesman for the Russian Society of Friends of the Vatopedi Monastery told Interfax-Religion.

So Archimandrite Ephrem "remains behind bars and still needs support," the spokesman said.

The supreme court annulled a ruling by the Rhodope court of appeal to put the archimandrite and two others in detention for 10 months with three years' deferment.

The proceedings against Ephrem, which were first opened in Rhodope and then in Athens, will be reviewed by the appeal court of Thrace.

Archimandrite Ephrem was arrested by court order last month.

Interfax - Religion


to our mailing list

* indicates required