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High-rank cleric accused of ‘dethronement attempt’ of Patriarch

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, June 1
Edisher Karchava, the lawyer of the Patriarchate of Georgia’s Orthodox Church, claims that Chkondidi Metropolitan Petre Tsaava is trying to “dethrone Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia, Ilia II”.

The lawyer says that he has proof of the actions of Metropolitan Tsaava against the Patriarch, adding he is acting against the church and he should be held responsible.

Edisher Karchava stressed that the target of the Metropolitan is the Patriarch, and he is trying to “dethrone Ilia II by using the dirtiest ways”.

Later he claimed that he had only meant the “spiritual, not physical, assassination of Ilia II”.

The lawyer says that he handed over all his evidences against Metropolitan Tsaava to the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia.

“The Patriarch does not know that I did it,” he added.

Moreover, the lawyer underlined that this current issue has nothing to do with the first scandal of the Patriarchate, the so-called Cyanide Case, when archpriest Giorgi Mamaladze was arrested on charges of a murder attempt of the Patriarch’s Secretary, Shorena Tetruashvili.

Metropolitan Tsaava denies all the allegations and accused the Patriarchate’s lawyer of slander.

He claims that Tetruashvili is behind the statements of the lawyer.

The cleric says the allegations of Karchava are groundless and believes the charges against him were raised to cover the Cyanide Case.

“I was very sorry to hear of all the accusations towards me…my only aim is to free the church from forces which are like a mafia clan,” Metropolitan Tsaava told Rustavi 2, referring to the Patriarch’s Secretary.

Moreover, he says that the “dirty campaign” against him was launched because he was openly accusing Tetruashvili of corruption and informal governance of the patriarchate.

On Monday, church lawyer Karchava stated that Metropolitan Tsaava was plotting to assassinate the head of the church, a conspiracy which allegedly involved high-level clerics. However, the next day he said he was referring to the “spiritual murder” of Ilia II by “destroying him spiritually”.