Orthodox Priest Shot In France Over Alleged Secret ‘Affair’
A suspect has confessed to shooting a Greek Orthodox priest in Lyon, France last week over a personal dispute, prosecutors have revealed.
The 40-year-old suspect revealed to prosecutors that the priest was having an affair with his wife.
The priest, Nikolaos Kakavelakis, 52, was shot twice with a sawn-off shotgun just outside his church on 31 October.
The priest spoke to the police after coming out of a coma on Wednesday.
The shooting came days after three people were killed in a knife attack at a church in the southern French city of Nice.
It was initially feared to be a copycat of what French President Emmanuel Macron called an “Islamist terrorist attack” in Nice.
The motive for the shooting in Lyon was not clear at first, with officials opening an investigation for attempted murder.
But the investigation progressed this week when the priest was able to talk to the police.
The suspect, who is said to be of Georgian nationality, was arrested at his home in Lyon on Friday, French newspaper Le Parisien reported.
The newspaper, citing a statement from Lyon’s public prosecutor, Nicolas Jacquet, said the suspect “turns out to be the husband of a woman who was having an affair with the victim”.
The suspect told prosecutors he had not intended to kill the Orthodox Church leader, who was romantically involved with his wife, a 35-year-old Russian, the newspaper said.
The priest, who had undergone surgery and now recovering , had tendered his resignation from the church a month prior to the incident.