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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 99-01-21

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, January 21, 1999

Chrysanthos could face three years behind bars

THERE was no serious rival for the disgraced former Bishop of Limassol when it came to grabbing front-page headlines in the dailies yesterday.

Bishop Chrysanthos's alleged involvement in over 30 financial scams in Cyprus and abroad has kept him in the headlines for months on end.

The cleric was back in his now-customary place of prominence yesterday, with all the papers giving broad coverage to Attorney-general Alecos Markides's announcement that the Bishop - suspended by the Holy Synod last November - was, in all likelihood, to go to court to face fraud charges.

Phileleftheros reported that this would be the first time that a Bishop would be taken to court in Cyprus. Markides had stated that Chrysanthos would probably face four charges following the completion of a police investigation into his alleged involvement in a $3.7 million scam to defraud British investors.

The Bishop faced up to three years behind bars if convicted of the fraud charges, the wide-circulation daily stated.

Markides had added that three more fraud cases allegedly involving the Bishop were still being investigated by police.

The Bishop told Phileleftheros he would be studying Markides's statements and discussing them with his lawyer.

The paper also quoted a member of the Holy Synod as saying the Church would await the outcome of any court case before deciding on possible further action against the Bishop.

Haravghi added that Markides had said the British plaintiff in the alleged $3.7 million case, Gerald Chambers, would be appearing as a prosecution witness in any court action.

The Attorney-general was also quoted as saying the government could not extradite Chrysanthos to face other possible fraud charges before foreign courts, but neither could it protect the Bishop if he was arrested for alleged fraud while in a foreign country.

Simerini reported that Chrysanthos and his associates had been caught off guard by Markides's announcement and were now desperately working on the Bishop's defence.

The Bishop himself, the paper stated, responded by saying the issue was entirely up to the Attorney-general to decide.

"He should do whatever he thinks," Chrysanthos was quoted as saying.

Alithia focused on Markides's statement that the Bishop would be arrested if he attempted to leave the island.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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