Monk Faltaous al-Makary cried when he heard of the death of monk Zenon al-Makary, Faltaous’s lawyer Michelle Halim said.
He added that Feltaous told him that Zenon knew the real murderer of Bishop Epiphanius, head of the Saint Macarius Monastery in Wadi al-Natroun who was murdered on July 29.
“If Zenon had really committed suicide, it is because he felt guilty for not speaking out or reporting the real murderer of Epiphanius,” Halim quoted Faltaous as saying.
Halim told Al-Masry Al-Youm that he met with his client, who is accused of murdering Epiphanius, at the New Qasr al-Aini Hospital (French Hospital) where he has been undergoing treatment since his suicide attempt.
Halim claimed that his client did not participate in the murder, saying that Faltaous knows the real murderer but is afraid to speak for fear on the life and welfare of his sister.
Faltaous thus attempted suicide because he cannot speak about the real murderer of Epiphanius, according to Halim. Faltaous was only suspected of the murder because he used to cry whenever he came across Epiphanius’s photo, leading people to assume he was crying out of guilt, Halim stated.
“I am innocent,” Halim quoted Faltaous as telling his sister during the hospital visit. Faltaous said that he considered Epiphanius his father after the death of his parents, stressing that he could not commit such a crime against him.
Two suspected monks from the Saint Macarius Monastery, namely Ash’eyaa al-Makary and Faltaous al-Makary were referred to a criminal trial in August over the murder of Epiphanius.
The Coptic Orthodox Church transferred the six monks from the Saint Macarius Monastery after the murder to other monasteries, including Zenon who died later in September.
One of the transferred monks, Zenon al-Makary, died after he felt severe fatigue and pain in the abdomen by the end of September. Some news reports attributed his death to an attempted suicide.
According to investigations, Zenon was in poor mental condition and avoided people a week before his death. The deceased monk took a poisoning medicine used to counter mites, investigations stated.
The deputy head of Muharraq Monastery priest ruled out that Zenon may have committed suicide, adding that his relation with people at the monastery has been normal since he was transferred there in August. He added the Church requested an autopsy on Zenon’s body to reveal the true reason behind his death.
Bishop Epiphanius was found dead in front of his monastic cell at the Saint Macarius Monastery, Wadi al-Natroun, on July 29. Monks at the scene immediately notified Wadi al-Natroun police, who discovered that the Bishop had fractures in the back of his skull, leading to suspicion of murder.
Zenon was the confession priest of Ash’eyaa.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm