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CRIME

Greek orthodox priest shot in Lyon victim of jealous husband

The Greek Orthodox priest shot last week in the French city of Lyon was the victim of a jealous husband rather than an Islamic terrorist, Le Parisien reported on Saturday.

Greek orthodox priest shot in Lyon victim of jealous husband
Police searching outside the church for clues after the shooting. Photo: Jeff Pachoud/AFP
Nikolaos Kakavelakis, 52, was shot twice with a sawn-off shotgun outside his church on 31 October, in what police feared was a copycat attack, coming as it did three days after three people were knifed in a terror attack at a church in Nice.
 
But according to the newspaper, the priest put the police on the trail of his attacker as soon as he came out of a coma on Tuesday, telling them he believed he had been shot by the “jealous husband” of one of his conquests. 
 
 
“The priest is very into sex, and he is very adventurous with the ladies,” a source close to the inquiry told the newspaper. 
 
 
A 40-year Georgian man, who the newspaper named as Giorgi P,  admitted to carrying out the attack after he was seized on Friday. 
 
He insists, however, that he had not wanted to kill Kakavelakis, who was having an affair with his 35-year-old Russian wife, named by the newspaper as Lela K. 
 
The priest had announced that he was resigning from the church a month earlier.
 

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POLICE

French pensioner pushed out of 17th-floor window ‘may have been victim of anti-Semitic attack’

An 89-year-old man who was pushed out of his 17th-storey window by a neighbour may have been killed because he was Jewish, a prosecutor said on Friday, after several shocking anti-Semitic murders in France in recent years.

French pensioner pushed out of 17th-floor window 'may have been victim of anti-Semitic attack'

The victim’s body was found at the foot of his building in Lyon, southeast France, on May 17th and the 51-year-old neighbour was arrested. But investigators did not initially charge him with a racist crime.

Last Sunday, the BNVCA anti-Semitism watchdog group said it would seek to be a plaintiff in the case, citing its similarity with the 2017 murder of Sarah Halimi, a 65-year-old thrown from her window in a case that sparked national outcry.

“After social media postings were provided to us, the prosector’s office has asked judges to consider the aggravating circumstance of an act committed because of the victim’s ethnicity, nationality, race or religion,” Lyon prosecutor Nicolas Jacquet told AFP.

He did not provide examples of the posts, but Gilles-William Goldnadel, a lawyer and commentator for CNews television, said on Wednesday on Twitter that the suspect had called out Goldnabel in messages, including one that told him to “remember your origins.”

“It’s no longer a question of telling us it’s the act of a mentally disturbed person. The truth of anti-Semitism must no longer be hidden,” Goldnadel wrote.

France has grappled with a sharp rise in violence targeting its roughly 500,000 Jews, the largest community in Europe, in addition to jihadist attacks in recent years.

The murder of Halimi drew particular outrage after the killer, who had shouted “Allahu akbar” (“God is greatest” in Arabic), avoided trial because a judge determined he was under the influence of drugs and not criminally responsible.

That prompted President Emmanuel Macron to seek a law change to ensure people face responsibility for violent crimes while under the influence of drugs, which was adopted in December 2021.

In 2018, 85-year-old Mireille Knoll was brutally stabbed in an attack by two men said to have been looking for “hidden treasures” in her Paris apartment.

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