Ephraim returns to Athos after prison release

Ephraim, the former chief monk of the Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos who was implicated in a controversial land swap deal, returned to the monastic community on Saturday following his conditional release from pretrial detention on Friday.

Ephraim, who had been in custody at Korydallos Prison in Athens since December after being charged with money laundering and embezzlement in a land swap said to have cheated taxpayers out of millions of euros, described his release as ?a miracle of the Virgin.?

He was freed after posting 300,000 euros in bail and agreeing not to leave the country.