Court Suspends Immediate Arrest of Rebel Mount Athos Abbot Pending Appeal

The call for the immediate arrest of the rebel abbot of Esphigmenou Monastery on Mount Athos has been suspended by a Thessaloniki appeals court, pending his appeal.

In January, Monk Methodios was sentenced by a Greek court in northern Athens in absentia to 20 years in prison. He was found guilty and sentenced following events in July 2013 when Methodios threw firebombs at police trying to evict him and others from the monastery’s administrative offices in Karyes.

Police say that Methodios has stated that he will only leave the monastery if he is dead, and police have not previously acted on the order to arrest the monk because they fear that going ahead with the order will lead to violence.