Testifying in court, former Kiti bishop Chrysostomos denied on Monday he had indecently assaulted a teenage girl some 40 years ago, and said he would present evidence refuting the plaintiff’s allegations.

“I state in the most emphatic way that I am innocent and that I have been wrongly accused in this case,” the 84-year-old cleric said in a statement read out in court.

Chrysostomos is being accused of indecent assault back in 1981, when the alleged victim was aged 16.

The plaintiff claims that during her first visit to Chrysostomos’ office at the Kiti bishopric, the bishop sat down beside her on a sofa and began touching her hands. He allegedly assaulted her on her fifth visit when the cleric shoved her, pressed himself on top of her and kissed her on the lips. She began repeatedly screaming “let me out,” at which point she claimed the bishop got off her and opened the door.

The plaintiff, now 57 years old, has also testified that the bishop’s office would automatically lock when pressing a button.

She pressed charges in 2021 – 40 years after the alleged incident. The plaintiff had been cross-examined by the defendant’s attorney during a previous hearing.

In court on Monday, the bishop called the woman’s claims “a figment of a sick imagination and perjury.”

He stated he had never had any contact with the plaintiff, nor did he ever speak on the phone with her sister or mother.

The plaintiff’s sister has alleged that at the time in question she had called the bishop and, pretending to be the plaintiff, engaged in ‘dirty talk’ with Chrysostomos.

Attacking the accuser’s credibility, the bishop said the sofa in his office was beige, not burgundy as described by the woman in her statement to police.

He said he has photographs of the office, as well as of other parts of the bishopric dating from the time, which he will submit to the court. Nor did his office have an automatic door-locking system at the time, as claimed by the plaintiff.

After Chrysostomos read out his statement, his attorney asked that the photos be entered into evidence. The prosecution objected, saying it wanted to review copies of the photos before agreeing.

Elsewhere in his testimony, the bishop likewise denied that he had ever shown the plaintiff pictures of himself from a trip in Switzerland. She alleges that Chrysostomos had shown her photos of himself on a cable car in Switzerland, where he was ‘hugging’ young girls.

“I never met girls in Switzerland, I never hugged girls in Switzerland, I never used a cable car in Switzerland, and of course these photographs which the plaintiff speaks of, do not exist and never existed,” the bishop said.

The elderly also cast doubt on his accuser’s move to file a complaint four decades after the alleged indecent assault.

The hearings continue on November 2.

Last summer the defendant’s defence lawyers had argued that Chrysostomos lacked the mental capacity to follow legal proceedings, but the court denied the motion.