Revolut Cyprus Scrutinizes Monks Amid Probe

11 May 2024

Monastic Legal Tangle: Salaries Paid Amidst Controversy

In a recent turn of events, the legal representatives of two monks from the Osiou Avakoum monastery embroiled in allegations of money laundering and inappropriate conduct have confirmed that their clients have received their salaries. This development comes after a series of vacillating decisions regarding their compensation during the investigation period.

Initially, on March 5, Tamassos Bishop Isaias had instructed that archimandrites Nektarios and Porfyrios, along with hieromonk Avakoum Christofis, be granted a three-month leave with full pay. This decision, however, was reversed a week later, denying them payment while under investigation. The latest decision on Friday reversed the previous stance once again, allowing the monks to receive their due salaries since March 12. The lawyers hailed this as a vindication for their clients.

Amidst these developments, the monks’ legal team has raised concerns over the legitimacy of the church’s investigative process. Anastasios Vavouskos, one of the monks’ lawyers, emphasized the burden on the Holy Synod to demonstrate impartiality and to clear their clients of any preconceived notions of guilt.

Church sources expressed their intention to conclude the investigations by month’s end. However, they anticipate that the ecclesiastical court may not reach a consensus, potentially leading to an appeal and a final decision by the Holy Synod in June.

The controversy deepened when the monks were discovered with €807,000 in cash and were allegedly filmed in compromising situations. Additionally, they are accused of using artificial myrrh to simulate a miraculous event.

The police have taken extensive measures to investigate these claims, including securing access to the monks’ financial and property records through various services such as and trust insurance cy. The monks had previously appealed for the return of the seized funds, claiming that not all evidence was presented when the freezing orders were issued.

The court has highlighted procedural issues with the appeal, noting that it was not served to all interested parties. The case continues to unfold as the legal and ecclesiastical communities watch closely.

What led to the Osiou Avakoum monks salaries being reinstated amid the investigation?

The monks salaries were reinstated after initial findings suggested procedural errors in the investigation, prompting a review to ensure fairness and due process.

Can the withheld salaries of the monks from Osiou Avakoum be seen as a vindication by their lawyers?

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