Egypt’s Public Prosecution office in Alexandria on Saturday ordered expelled monk Ash’eyaa al-Makary be held in detention for four days pending investigations after he confessed to killing Bishop Epiphanius, the head of the Saint Macarius Monastery at Wadi al-Natroun.
The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria announced the Bishop’s sudden death on July 29, with the Saint Mark church of Alexandria describing the circumstances of his death as “shadowy.”
Bishop Epiphanius was found dead in front of his own monastic cell surrounded by a pool of blood. Monks at the scene immediately notified the Wadi al-Natroun police, who quickly revealed that the Bishop had fractures in the back of his skull – suggestive of murder.
Preliminary investigations implied that an unknown person may have hit the Bishop’s head with a sharp instrument as he was leaving.
Last week the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church stripped monk Ash’eyaa of his sacerdotal rank and expelled him. The next day, young monk Faltaous al-Makary attempted suicide by cutting his arteries and throwing himself from the highest building in the monastery.
The disgraced monk confessed on Saturday to collaborate with Faltaous al-Makary in killing Bishop Epiphanius.
Faltaous is currently receiving treatment at the Anglo American Hospital in Zamalek.
For his part, Amir Nasif, lawyer of Ash’eyaa, withdrew from the case and refused to defend the suspect, praising the role of the security services in uncovering the mystery of the incident and the role of the prosecution in the investigations.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm