After a marathon court session on Tuesday, Archimandrite Nektarios embroiled in the Osiou Avakoum monastery scandal was remanded in court for eight days.

The hearing at Nicosia district court began shortly after his snap arrest at around 10am, which comes three months after the news broke of allegations ranging from money laundering and scams at the obscure monastery in Finikoudes village.

Judge Charalambos Satsias described it as a complicated case of huge proportions, rejecting the argument put forth by Nektarios’ defence that the remand had ‘ulterior motives.’

The 37-year-old monk faces 11 charges including money laundering, tax evasion, theft, forgery and interfering with court proceedings.

Court heard Nektarios had €1.1 million which he did not declare, as well as allegations that he tried to influences witnesses in the case.

Attorney General George Savvides said earlier in the day a meeting would be held at the legal service next week with all implicated parties involved in the monastery’s investigation.

Nektarios’ lawyer Adriana Klaedes described police’s remand request as an abuse of process, arguing authorities had the evidence before them since March.

Police investigator Panayiotis Panayiotou, who put forth the remand request and was grilled by Klaedes, stressed they had now collected sufficient evidence for the case, and raised concerns the monk may try to influence other witnesses.

The judge accepted Panayiotou’s case, telling court “a delay alone cannot be equated with abuse and there is no suspicion of another motive.” He added the investigator wanted the case to be dealt with comprehensively and new evidence had emerged on June 14.

A slew of damning witness testimonies were referred to during Tuesday’s hearing, including suggestions that invoices for €320,000 in renovation works for the monastery were never submitted.

Court also heard of statements claiming donations to Osiou Avakoum were transferred to personal bank accounts of the monk.

Another 60 witness statements are expected to be taken by police, court heard.

Police spokesman Christos Andreou said that the alleged crimes took place from 2020 to 2024.

He added that if new information arises there might be further arrests made.

Nektarios’ defence lawyers Klaedes and Nikolaos Koulouris initiallyy asked for the proceedings to be postponed until Wednesday, due to the volume of material. They said the defence’s request is that the cross-examination of the police officer should continue Wednesday, with the suspect remaining in custody.

This was rejected, however the judge granted a request by defence lawyers for a two-hour recess to investigate the allegation that the suspect tried to approach witnesses.

The police were looking into financial crimes related to the scandal at the Osiou Avakoum monastery, where €800,000 in cash was found that was unaccounted for, while some of the monks were also found to own private property in Greece and Limassol.

In April, Nektarios broke his silence for the first time in a length Facebook post ssaying the developments have “shaken his soul” but not dented his faith in God. He stressed he never had sexual relations with another monk, and was “illegally kicked out from the monastery.”

Police are also investigating alleged crimes by the Bishop of Tamassos Isaias, who had alerted the church the scandal and is alleged to have brought close to 30 men and 10 hooded figures to remove the monks from the monastery forcibly.

Monks of the monastery are also facing a disciplinary process with the Holy Synod, as Isaias has filed his allegations for sex and cash to the church body.

The church is currently examining the issues raised by Isaias, with an investigative committee from the synod, having submitted their findings to the Holy Synod, who will issue the judgement through the ecclesiastical court.

The monks face defrocking, something they have questioned, as according to their legal team, Isaias has already issued judgment for the alleged crimes.

Upon learning of the alleged crimes, he suspended the monks, something the legal team says means the church procedures underway indicate that there is double jeopardy.