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Former bishop due in court on June 30 on indecent assault charges

Larnaca Court

Former Kitium bishop Chrysostomos will appear before Larnaca district court on June 30 on charges of indecent assault against an underage woman, giving time for the criminal court to examine whether he is fit to stand trial in another sexual assault case, the Cyprus News Agency reported on Tuesday.

His lawyer Michalis Pikis appeared before the court today to argue that the elderly cleric  cannot follow the court proceedings because of diminished mental faculties.

Pikis had raised the same issue before the Larnaca-Famagusta Criminal Court where Chrysostomos, 83, is to stand trial for rape. That court had on May 19 ordered that an expert be appointed by the mental health services to examine this issue.

It also said that it will hear medical testimony on June 28, 29 and 30 from the defence and the prosecution.

Pending the Criminal Court’s decision and in order that the same request is not examined twice, the district court postponed today’s scheduled hearing until June 30.

The case in the district court was submitted on April 12 and relates to an offence allegedly committed in November 1981 at the cleric’s place of work.

Chrysostomos is also due to stand trial following a rape claim filed by a woman, who said he had raped her at his office between April 1 and 30, 2011.

On April 26, before the bishop entered a plea, his defence lawyer Michalis Pikis said that his client was not able to follow the procedure because of diminished mental faculties, and the court adjourned until May 19.

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