Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Greece jails Abbot Ephraim in Mount Athos fraud case

BBC News
December 28, 2011

The abbot of the prestigious Vatopedi monastery on Mount Athos in Greece has been jailed pending trial for alleged fraud and embezzlement.

Abbot Ephraim, 56, is accused of arranging land swaps between Vatopedi and the state which are thought to have cost the government millions of euros.

The abbot, now being held in Korydallos prison in Athens, denies wrongdoing. His arrest has triggered protests.

The property scandal contributed to the conservative government's fall in 2009.

Greek Orthodox monks rallied outside the prison in support of Abbot Ephraim on Wednesday.

Russia's foreign ministry and the Russian Orthodox Church also criticised the imprisonment of Abbot Ephraim.

No trial date has been set yet.


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