The woman who brought sexual assault charges against the former Kiti Bishop Chrysostomos said on Saturday she had expected his appeal against his guilty verdict.
“I did not expect any other reaction, I expected that he would wait until the last minute and file an appeal. He still continues to deceive people, but I wonder if he will make the same excuses when he stands before his creator,” she said, after hearing about the appeal that the bishop filed on Friday morning.
The bishop filed his appeal just a few days before the Holy Synod is set to meet on Tuesday to decide whether they will defrock him.
A few weeks ago, the cleric was found guilty of assaulting a teenage girl, who was 16 years old in 1981, when he was still in his post.
After a lengthy trial that began in May 2022, the former bishop was convicted of the charge of indecent assault, as the court deemed the testimony of the now 58-year-old, as well as the defence witnesses, to be credible.
He was then dealt a suspended sentence by the court of one year for the crime, while the Holy Synod decided that they would meet following the verdict to deem whether he should be excommunicate him.
Filing the appeal, his new defence attorney Yiannis Polychronis said the appeal focuses on 12 points, the main one being “the violation of his right to a fair trial.”
“Due to the unprecedented delay from the date of the alleged crime to his prosecution and the trial of the case, he was unable to examine witnesses on the primary testimony because they either died or did not remember and on the other hand he was also unable to summon essential witnesses, because they too have either passed away or are suffering from dementia,” Polychronis said.
Commenting to Philenews about the incident, the woman said she did not expect something else, but she said she hoped the Holy Synod would proceed with defrocking him.
“I expect his excommunication and for him to be distanced from the Kiti metropolis,” she said.
She added that had he even apologised following the court decision, she would have gone to the Holy Synod to tell them he has repented.
“Now, however, no chance can be given to him,” she said.
The woman is set to appear at a protest planned outside the archdiocese on Tuesday organised by women’s groups.
It remains unclear if some of the members of the synod will request to delay the decision, until after the appeal.
Commenting on the matter, the Bishop of Karpasia Christoforos said that they will examine issue which will be publicly announced.
“The examination will be based on the data we have before us and these are the conviction and the sentence. We will make a decision, which will be announced to the public,” he said.
After the decision of the Holy Synod, the current Kiti Bishop Nektarios is expected to initiate procedures for the removal of the former bishop from the metropolis. As he stated, the former Kiti bishop “can no longer live in the metropolis building”.
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