CAIRO - 13 August 2018: The former monk Ash’eyaa of the St. Macarius Monastery confessed Sunday that he failed two attempts to murder head of the monastery Bishop Epiphanius.
During the investigation, Ash’eyaa said that he was planning to murder the late bishop but failed. In the first attempt he found Epiphanius praying and in the next time he couldn’t catch him before getting to the church, but in the third attempt he woke up early and killed him in the time between midnight and dawn.
The prosecution remanded Ash’eyaa for 15-day custody over murdering head of St. Macarius Monastery in Wadi Al-Natroun on Saturday.
Another Coptic monk was placed under arrest for four days pending investigations over killing Epiphanius.
Monk Faltaous al-Makary, whose birth name was Raymond Rasmi Mansour, was kept under arrest by the security forces in a hospital, where he receives treatment after trying to commit suicide via deliberately slitting his wrist and then jumping off a high building inside the monastery.
After being accused of being involved in the murder of Bishop Epiphanius, the 33-year-old monk confessed that he helped the expelled monk Ash’eyaa in killing the bishop.
Bishop Epiphanius was found dead on July 29 inside his monastery. Subsequently, the Coptic Church of Alexandria decided to strip Ash’eyaa of his rank following investigating him for committing “inappropriate actions” which contradict with monastic behavior and life.
Ash’eyaa tried to commit suicide a day after the murder, and he was detained at the monastery's clinic in Beheira governorate’s Natrun valley, but was released following the prosecution’s order. He reportedly used poison in his suicide attempt.
In a statement signed by Pope Tawadros II, the Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, the Orthodox Church revealed that a monastic investigation was conducted with Ash’eyaa by a special committee formed by the Monastic Committee and the Monasteries Affairs Committee of the Holy Synod.