Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

Court finds prima facie case against bishop accused of rape

The Larnaca-Famagusta criminal court on Wednesday found there was a prima facie case against former Kiti bishop Chrysostomos who has been accused of rape.

The lawyer of the 83-year-old cleric, Michalis Pikis, requested one more day to prepare his defence, Cyprus News Agency reported.

Two more witnesses testified on Wednesday, including the police officer who investigated the case.

On Thursday, the defence is expected to present the bishop’s case. He initially pleaded not guilty with a hand signal as he was unable to speak due to recent surgery on his vocal cords.

The defence lawyer initially proposed that Chrysostomos was unfit to stand his trial citing dementia but the criminal court ruled he was in fact mentally fit to follow court proceedings.

According to the CNA, the bishop has three options: to exercise his right to silence and not incriminate himself, the right to take the stand and make a statement without being questioned by the prosecutor, and the right to testify under oath and be questioned.

The offence allegedly took place in April 2011, against a woman, in his office in Larnaca.

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