A suspect has admitted to the shooting of a Greek Orthodox priest in the French city of Lyon last week over a personal dispute, according to French prosecutors.
The 40-year-old suspect, identified only as Georgi P., admitted to the shooting of Fr. Nikolaos Kakavelakis and admitted to police that the priest whom he targeted was having an affair with his wife and the shooting was for revenge.
The priest was shot twice with a shotgun outside his church on October 31, setting off a spree of anxiety throughout France that the incident was perpetrated by Islamist terrorists.
The motive for the shooting in Lyon was not clear at first. Prior to losing consciousness, Kakavelakis lied to authorities and said he did not know the shooter.
With police under pressure to produce leads, they detained a former Greek Orthodox monk who had personal differences with the priest and had been seen in various altercations with him in videos circulating online. The ex-monk was eventually released after there was no evidence tying him to the crime.
But the investigation progressed when the priest recovered from surgery and was able to talk to the police and admit to knowing the shooter. The suspect, who is of Georgian nationality, was arrested at his home in Lyon on Friday, French newspaper Le Parisien reported.
The newspaper, citing a statement from Lyon’s public prosecutor, Nicolas Jacquet, said the suspect “turns out to be the husband of a woman who was having an affair with the victim.”
The suspect told prosecutors he had not intended to kill the priest, who was romantically involved with his wife, a 35-year-old Russian, Le Parisien reported.
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