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18 July, 2024
 
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Archimandrite Nektarios arrested in Avvakoum Monastery probe

Judge grants delay in court hearing for Cypriot monk

Newsroom

Police arrested 37-year-old Archimandrite Nektarios on Tuesday in connection with a financial scandal at the Holy Monastery of Saint Avvakoum in Fterikoudi. The arrest followed a warrant executed by authorities based on ongoing investigations into alleged financial offenses.

According to Police Spokesman Christos Andreou, Archimandrite Nektarios faces charges including conspiracy to commit embezzlement, theft by proxy, money laundering, securing money by false representation, forgery, tax offenses, and other related charges. The arrest marks a significant development in a case that had previously not been formally handled by the police until recently.

The Financial Crime Investigation Sub-Division of the Police Headquarters is handling the investigation, which has also implicated another monk placed on leave earlier in connection with the same case.

The hearing regarding the police's request for an eight-day detention of Archimandrite Nektarios was adjourned until 14:30 local time. Constable Panagiotis Panagiotou, in an affidavit submitted during the proceedings, cited new evidence that had surfaced recently, including a report from the Department of Taxation received on Friday. This prompted the police to request the suspect's detention to facilitate further investigation, emphasizing the need to question other individuals involved in additional offenses.

In response, defense lawyers Andriana Klaidi and Nikolaos Koulouris requested a postponement of the proceedings until the following day, citing the extensive volume of material and the need for thorough examination. They also requested continued cross-examination of Constable Panagiotou, with the suspect remaining in custody during this period.

The judge granted a two-hour break requested by the defense attorneys to investigate allegations that the suspect had attempted to contact witnesses, underscoring the gravity and complexity of the case.

Archimandrite Nektarios's arrest underscores ongoing scrutiny over financial improprieties within religious institutions, reflecting broader concerns over accountability and transparency in such organizations.

[Information sourced from 24 News]

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Cyprus  |  monastery  |  police

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