1288 – Abbot Ephraim released with conditions

A panel of judges has ordered the release of Abbot Ephraim of the Vatopedi monastery on the Orthodox monastic sanctuary of Mount Athos, after he spent three months in prison on fraud charges.

The 56-year-old monk is at the centre of an alleged scandal involving controversial land-swaps between Vatopedi and the previous New Democracy government considered unfairly beneficial to the 1,000-year-old monastery. The judges ordered that Cyprus-born Ephraim pay €300,000 bail, be banned from leaving Greece and report regularly at the Mount Athos police station while awaiting trial. His imprisonment drew criticism from the Greek Church, Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew and even the Russian government (from Athens News).

Wim, 30/3

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