Greece ‘Refuses to Extradite’ Serbian Orthodox Monk

Author: Bojana Barlovac
Date Published: 07/13/2010
Publication: BalkanInsight.com
Bishop Artemije
Bishop Artemije

Greece’s Supreme Court has rejected Serbia’s request for the extradition of Simeon Vilovski, an Orthodox monk suspected of abusing his post in the Diocese of Raska and Prizren, according to Vilovski’s attorney.

Branislav Tapuskovic, Vilovski’s lawyer, told Tanjug news agency that conditions had not been met for the extradition of Vilovski to Serbia and that his client had been released from extradition custody, where he had spent more than a month pending the final decision of the court.

The Serbian Justice Ministry said that it had not received official notification from the competent authorities of Greece on the status of the request for extradition of the monk.

On February 17, Serbian police launched a probe into allegations of fraud inside the Diocese of Raska and Prizren on the basis of charges filed by the Church. Bishop Artemije, who led the diocese, was first temporarily removed from his post and then permanently removed by a decision of the Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church, SPC, taken in May.

According to a report issued by a Church commission looking into the Artemije case, which Balkan Insight has seen, money donated to the diocese allegedly funded the lifestyles of several of the Bishop’s close associates.

The alleged beneficiaries included Vilovski, who according to the report received