Cyprus Mail

Police clears bishop in hate speech probe – report (updated)

Bishop of Morphou Neophytos

A police investigation into the possibility of a bishop committing hate speech offences has found nothing improper, it was reported on Wednesday.

The probe against Morphou Bishop Neophytos was launched after he made derogatory comments about gays.

The bishop said in public that gay men give off a nasty smell and that homosexuality is transferred to a foetus when a pregnant woman has anal sex and enjoys it.

The bishop had also linked the murders of five foreign women and two children by serial killer Nicos Metaxas to abortion, saying it was hypocritical to be saddened by the death of the two children killed by Metaxas when Cyprus carries out so many abortions.

Daily Phileleftheros said the case file has been handed over to the Legal Service for instructions though investigators determined the bishop had not committed any offences relating to hate speech.

Attorney-general Costas Clerides only confirmed that the file was in his hands.

“It includes a recommendation by the police,” the AG said, adding that “it is not binding but it is taken into account.”

Clerides said the crux of the matter was not whether the bishop’s statements were wrong or right, or scientifically substantiated, but whether they incited violence against a group based on gender identity or if they violated the law on racism.


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