Supreme Court examining Vatopedi Monastery’s land claims

Supreme Court examining Vatopedi Monastery’s land claims

Greece’s Supreme Court in the process of examining a dispute between the state and the embattled Vatopedi Monastery in the monastic community of Mount Athos in northern Greece regarding the ownership of Lake Vistonida and surrounding land in Xanthi.

The two sides submitted their claims to judges at the country’s highest court on Monday and are hoping for a ruling soon that will once and for all settle a dispute that has been raging for decades, and also included criminal charges being brought against the monastery’s abbot and others.

All 14 defendants accused of cheating the state out of millions of euros in a land swap were acquitted last March by the Athens Court of Appeals, which, however, ruled that Lake Vistonida belongs to the state.

Now that the criminal cases related to the issue have been concluded, it will be up to Supreme Court to decide whether land titles dating as far back as Byzantine times prove that Lake Vistonida and its environs belong to Vatopedi Monastery or not.

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