Vatopedi monk granted conditional release

Ephraim, the former chief monk of the Vatopedi Monastery at Mount Athos who has been implicated in a controversial landswap deal, has been granted conditional release.

Ephraim has been in custody at central Korydallos Prison since December. He is being accused of money laundering and embezzlement in the exchange of property between Vatopedi and the state that allegedly left the monks better off and Greek taxpayers footing a bill for millions of euros.

On Thursday, however, the Council of Appeals agreed to grant his request for conditional release. The court said he must pay 300,000 euros in bail and prohibited him from leaving the country.

The monk will also have to report to the local police station in Karyes, near Mount Athos, at regular intervals.

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