Arios Pagos: ‘Abbot Efraim and Arsenios are innocent’13 January 2012
Arios Pagos has overruled the decision by the Rodopis Board of Appeals. As a result, the ten month imprisonment sentence (with a three year suspended sentence) imposed against the Abbot of the Vatopedi monastery (who is already pre-detained) and monk Arsenios is null and void. Similarly, the decision against Judge Maria Psalti, who was erroneously found guilty for breaching the court’s confidentiality at the incitement of the two monks, has also been overruled.
Arios Pagos has also ordered a new trial to be heard by the Board of Appeals in Thrace on the ‘wrapping up’ issue of the trial at the Rodopi regional court on the ownership status of the Visthonida Lake. Different judges will be sitting during the new trial.
The Supreme Criminal Court of Arios Pagos, adopting the suggestion by the attorney general, N Tsagga, has accepted that the decision of the Board of Appeals was not adequately justified, was decided on insufficient evidence and was inconsistent and deficient on many points.
The new trial is expected to hear evidence on a lighter indictment against all three, since Arios Pagos has deemed that the publication of just the result of a judicial conference is no longer a punishable act. Therefore, it has already been proven that no crime has been committed in this case.