Court extended the preventive measure for the head of the Cherkasy Eparchy of the UOC-MP for two months
His pretrial detention was extended for another two months, as reported by Suspilne.
A group of people awaited the accused outside the courthouse, reminding the Metropolitan of the UOC-MP that his actions lead to the daily deaths of both Ukrainian defenders and innocent people, including children.
The hierarch is suspected of fueling interfaith enmity, justifying and recognizing Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine, and glorifying its participants.
During the hearing, the prosecutor's office requested an extension of the preventive measure. Since the term of round-the-clock house arrest expires on June 10th, the prosecution requested its extension. According to the prosecutor, the risks remain the same, including the possibility that the accused may hide from the investigation and influence witnesses.
Furthermore, according to the prosecutor, there is a risk that Snyhyryov may influence a witness whose current whereabouts are unknown.
The judge asked the prosecutor whether there is a risk that the accused, while under round-the-clock house arrest, will continue to disseminate information on the official website of the Cherkasy Eparchy that may fuel hostility. The prosecutor responded that this is likely and added that a video of Feodosiy's address about the "persecution of the Church" had already appeared on the website after Easter.
On the other hand, the defense attorney raised a motion to change the preventive measure, stating, "The investigation has already been completed, evidence has been collected, examinations have been conducted, and the victims have been questioned. The defense believes that there is currently no risk of influencing witnesses." The attorney requested a change to nighttime house arrest from 23:00 to 6:00. Additionally, the defense requested the inclusion of the parishioners' appeals from St. Nicholas Cathedral in the case materials, which address the activities of the Metropolitan.
In court, the accused clergyman stated that he supports the opinion of his defense attorneys, saying, "I consider the accusations against me unfounded and fabricated. I hope that my complete innocence will be proven in court with the help of my attorneys. I do not consider myself guilty."
He also added that he has no intention of fleeing, stating, "My Orthodox flock is here, and I am responsible for them."
The representative of the Moscow Patriarchate declined to comment to Suspilne.
After an hour-long break, on June 1st, the court granted the prosecutor's motion and extended the round-the-clock house arrest for 60 days. The next hearing will take place on July 10th.
SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) employees reported the suspicion of the head of the UOC-MP Eparchy under Article 161 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine regarding the incitement of interfaith enmity. He faces punishment in the form of imprisonment for up to three years.
In December, the SBU conducted counterintelligence activities at the sites of the Moscow Patriarchate in the Cherkasy region.
During the counterintelligence activities, the SBU discovered Russian propaganda literature and flags of the so-called "Novorossiya" in the UOC-MP Eparchies.
On February 20th, the head of the UOC-MP Eparchy was notified of the suspicion of fueling interfaith enmity. He was interrogated at the Cherkasy Regional Prosecutor's Office, after which the Sosnivsky District Court imposed a preventive measure on him and released him on personal recognizance.
On April 12th, Metropolitan Feodosiy, who is suspected of fueling interfaith enmity, was subjected to a second preventive measure. He was placed under round-the-clock house arrest for 60 days.
On April 13th, the leader of the UOC-MP in Cherkasy was fitted with an electronic bracelet, according to the eparchy's press service.