Espreso. Global

Moscow-backed Orthodox Church leader Pavel Lebed's house arrest extended

29 November, 2023 Wednesday

On November 29, the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv is considering a preparatory hearing in the case of Metropolitan Pavel (aka Mercedes) Lebed, the leader of Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) of the Moscow Patriarchate


This was reported by Espreso correspondent Kateryna Galko from the courtroom. 

The court extended Lebed's duties until January 29. The next hearing is scheduled for December 20.

The prosecution asked to extend Pavel Lebed's preventive measure in the form of round-the-clock house arrest and to impose on him the obligation to appear before the prosecutor and not to communicate with witnesses.

Earlier, the judge on duty, Halyna Matiychuk, did not grant the motion for recusal of the judge.


At the beginning of the hearing, the prosecutor filed a motion to extend the term of the duties imposed on Metropolitan Pavel. At the same time, the defence lawyers requested the recusal of Judge Svitlana Grechana. 

"I have never been on the side of Russian aggression, I did not support it. Everything they write (prosecutors - ed.) is not true. I stand before you today (the judge - ed.) and before God, whom I serve," said the Metropolitan of the UOC-MP. 

He also said that this reminds him of "the history of 1917, it is the same story". 

Proceedings against Metropolitan Pavel Lebed of the UOC-MP

On 1 April, officers of the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) served Metropolitan Pavel, aka Pasha Mercedes, with a notice of suspicion under Part 1 of Article 161 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (violation of the equality of citizens based on their race, nationality, region, religious beliefs) and Part 1 of Article 436-2 (justification, denial of the Russian armed aggression against Ukraine, glorification of its participants). After that, a search began at the Metropolitan's residence near Kyiv. The Security Service of Ukraine published intercepted conversations with the metropolitan, in which Pavlo rejoiced at the fact that Russian flags were flying in Kherson. He also called for prayers for Russian Patriarch Kirill and justified Russian aggression in every possible way.

Following a closed session in the case of Metropolitan Pavel of the Moscow Patriarchate, the Shevchenkivskyi District Court of Kyiv ruled that he should be placed under house arrest around the clock. 

On 29 May, the house arrest of Metropolitan Pavel of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, former abbot of the Kyiv Cave Monastery, was extended until 1 July.

On 13 July, the Security Service of Ukraine uncovered new facts of illegal activity by the abbot of the Kyiv Cave Monastery, Metropolitan Pavel Lebed. 

On 7 August, the lawyer said that the Metropolitan was released from custody on bail of UAH 33 million.  

Later, on 9 August, the SSU reported that the type of preventive measure - bail for Metropolitan Pavel (Lebed) of the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate, alias Pasha Mercedes - would not affect the fair trial.

On 11 August, Solomyansky District Court extended the term of office for Metropolitan Pavlo (Lebed) of the UOC-Moscow Patriarchate.

On 14 August, the Metropolitan's lawyer, Mykyta Chekman, reported that Pavel Lebed was taken to the cardiology department of a Kyiv hospital. He underwent surgery.

Subsequently, the Security Service completed the investigation and sent an indictment to the court against the abbot of the Kyiv Cave Monastery, Pavel. The Metropolitan is accused of justifying Russian aggression against Ukraine.  

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