Former Kition Bishop Chrysostomos pleaded not guilty to rape charges on Monday, with his signed unsworn testimony read in the courtroom during a closed session after he was previously found fit to stand trial.
Chrysostomos, aged 83, has been accused of rape, with a woman saying the bishop raped her at his workplace, the Holy Diocese of Kition in Larnaca back to April 2011.
The former bishop, whose defense attorney Michalis Pikis previously argued his client was unfit to stand trial, has rejected the accusations and further stated in court that he had evidence that could exonerate him.
Chrysostomos’ written statement was prepared by his lawyer and signed by the Metropolitan, who refuted all allegations against him and fully adopted his original statements to police
According to the Cyprus News Agency, Chrysostomos’ written statement was prepared by Pikis and signed by the former bishop, who did not speak due to a recent operation on his vocal chords but refuted all allegations against him and fully adopted his original statements to police.
According to details in the case, the female accuser has alleged that the Metropolitan offered her an alcoholic beverage before proceeding to rape her during an encounter sometime between 1 and 30 April of 2011.
Chrysostomos’ statement was said to have pointed to information that would exonerate him, according to claims made by the defense.
Three other defense witnesses, the former bishop’s accountant and two other staff members, also testified before being cross-examined by the lead prosecutor in the case.
No minor has been involved with the case but the trial is taking place behind closed doors, following a decision by a judge panel at the Larnaca-Famagusta Criminal Court.
The defence rested its case during Monday’s trial while the next hearing was scheduled for September 8, when both sides will address the court.