Two monks embroilled in allegations of sex and almost €1 million in cash, have written to the president to say they are victims of corruption between the police and church.

The letter by their lawyers Adrianna Klaedes and Nikolaos Koulouris claims monks Archimandrite Nektarios and Archimandrite Porfirios were allegedly kidnapped from the monastery and forced to sign a false confession.

It says a group of around 30 people, of which 10 were hooded, barged into the Osiou Avakoum monastery in Fterikoudes monastery illegally, and kidnapped the two monks.

“They took their mobile phones, personal documents…and violently forced them into a vehicle.”

The operation was overseen by the Tamasos Bishop Isias, the lawyers claim, who allegedly kept them in separate areas of the bishopric and grilled them for hours, while they were under guard.

Both monks were forbidden from contacting anyone.

“Under threat, they signed their voluntary defrocking against their will.”

“According to reasonable suspicions, these hooded men were police officers in civilian clothes, taking orders from Tamasos Bishop Isias who is not a public official,” the lawyers stressed.

Corruption authority involved

The letter was sent to President Nikos Christodoulides, the anti-corruption authority, police chief and House human rights committee.

It also claims the lawyers went to a number of different police stations to file a report over the “orchestrated attack” against the two monks but were refused that right.

Police has denied this version of events, saying the monks were told they would be called in at a later time to give a statement.

The Holy Synod has reported both monks to police, with the financial crimes unit carrying out investigations into the matter and has already taken a length statement from Tamasou Bishop Isias.

It will invite both monks to a police station to give a statement.

Earlier this week sources close to the matter said the monks were found with €800,000 in cash, and property in Greece and Limassol. They were also allegedly caught on CCTV footage having sex with each other.

The video was later shown during a Holy Synod session on Friday, which referred the two monks to ecclesiastical court.

According to the monks’ legal team however, another monk from the monastery obtained the footage and it was subsequently edited.

The lawyers charged that this footage was shown to the Holy Synod without the consent of the two monks, thus violating GDPR regulations.

Christodoulides: justice will be served

A day earlier, Akel had issued a statement calling on Christodoulides to take a stance on the matter. The president later responded to questions from journalists saying the opposition’s intervention was unnecessary.

Commenting on the case, he said “these are not positive developments. We are waiting to see the results but none of what we’re seeing in the public sphere is good.”

He stressed “there is justice and justice does not need the intervention of Akel or any other party. A report has been filed, the course of justice has begun and the matter is continuing, as in any other case”.