A religious leader caught with cocaine pours acid on bishops after they issues a verdict at his disciplinary hearing.
Theofylaktos Komvos, 37, a priest who had allegedly gotten involved in drug trafficking, threw acid on seven Greek Orthodox Church bishops at the Petraki Monastery. The group was attending a disciplinary hearing in Athens, Greece, in which the bishops were set to depose Komvos. A police officer, attorney, and a presiding clergyman were also injured in the attack.
The bishops suffered burns on their faces and hands and were immediately rushed to hospital. A witness said he “froze when he saw blood and heard screams,” describing the scene as a “blood bath.” The incident happened quickly and unexpectedly, and no one at the hearing had any indication, according to reports, that Komvos had possession of the chemical.
The meeting was being held to consider stripping the suspect of his priesthood after he was allegedly caught with “1.8 grams of cocaine” in June 2018 which “he had hidden near his genitals,” according to the report. Komvos reportedly confessed to “possessing the powerful stimulant in 2018 for personal use.” It was during the verdict’s announcement that he took out the bottle he had hidden on his person and threw it over the bishops.
Health Minister Kikilias reports, “Four of the bishops were more lightly injured and were receiving first aid, while one was transferred to the plastic surgery unit of another hospital and the other two might also be transferred to other hospitals with specialized units, including one with a specialist eye clinic.”
George Tzikas, a former defense attorney for the priest, said, “We did not expect it; he opened a bag, took out bottles, and began [pouring it over them]. At first, I thought it was water, but the place was full of blood. I could not handle it; it was insane. Fortunately, there was a policeman inside.” Tzikas added that his client was unable to empty the bottles.
Bishop Artis Kallinikos, who was a victim of the attack, said, “‘The former priest was quite accurate and the seven of us were hit in the face by a bottle and from a distance. He began pouring the liquid on us. The bottle was large, two liters, he held it with both hands. He did not say anything. He had the bottle in a bag. When I saw him take out the bottle, my first thought was that it was holy water. My mind did not go elsewhere.” Kallinikos added, “I quickly realized, from the sting in my eyes, the liquid was a caustic liquid because it was immediate. Another bishop’s face changed color as soon as the liquid fell on him.
“I express my abhorrence at this unprecedented event,” Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou tweeted after contacting Archbishop of Athens Ieronymos II, the leader of the Greek church. He said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had asked for constant updates on the case. Mitsotakis himself said he “was deeply saddened” and assured the bishop that the state would “offer all possible medical assistance for the victims’ speedy recovery.”