Metropolitan Pavel, vicegerent of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, was released from custody in Ukraine. This was announced on Monday, August 7, by his lawyer Nikita Chekman.
He specified that a bail of more than 33 million hryvnia (about $900,000) had been made for the metropolitan.
“Today, the bail for Metropolitan Pavel has finally been paid. More than a thousand people have paid funds as collateral for our Bishop,” said the lawyer, whose video message was published on his Telegram channel.
The lawyer showed footage of the released Metropolitan, who was with him in the car. Pavel thanked everyone involved in the liberation and called on the parishioners of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) to maintain unity.
On April 1, it became known that the rector of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, Metropolitan Pavel, was assigned two months of house arrest and was forbidden to communicate with believers. The SBU charges Pavel with cooperation with Russia and inciting inter-religious hatred. In addition, he was charged with «cursing the president.»
Later, on July 14, the Solomensky Court of Kyiv changed Metropolitan Pavel’s preventive measure from house arrest to detention until August 14. This verdict is connected with the presentation of new charges against the clergyman that he doubted the «sovereignty of Ukraine» and denied «aggression» from the Russian Federation. He faces up to eight years in prison.
Then Metropolitan Pavlo said that the new charges brought against him by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) were fabricated. As the clergyman noted, he is being tried for faith in Christ and for refusing to recognize schismatics from the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU).
In the meantime, the SBU said that the Metropolitan of the UOC again violated the law. The intelligence service noted that in one of the interviews, he allegedly “denied the existence of Ukraine as a sovereign state,” and also called the situation in eastern Ukraine a civil conflict that has been going on since 2014.
The metropolitan, in turn, said that he had never been against his country, and the lines from the sermon imputed to him were taken out of context.