Moscow, August 8, Interfax - Priest Nikolay Kireyev from the Leningrad Region, detained in a brothel in Belarus last weekend, will be banned from ministry during the period of investigation.
"As in other such cases, the ruling bishop of the Vyborg diocese will ban this clergyman from ministry for the period of investigation and trial," Vakhtang Kipshidze, deputy head of the Synodal Department for Church Relations with Society and Media, said.
The Church is considering all circumstances of the charges brought against the clergyman, "despite their unprecedented nature," Kipshidze said.
He also did not exclude the possibility of Kireyev's extradition to Russia in accordance with the procedure established by the Minsk Convention on Legal Aid and Legal Relations in Civil, Domestic and Criminal Cases to conduct investigative activities.
"The Russian Orthodox Church is open for cooperation on this issue with law enforcement structures of both Belarus and Russia," Kipshidze said.
The Belarusian Investigative Committee said on Sunday, that a priest from Russia had been detained during a raid in a brothel in Vitebsk, and he is suspected of an attempt of trafficking women to St. Petersburg.
"The Investigative Committee's department for the city of Vitebsk is investigating a criminal case in accordance with the Part 1 of the Article 14 and the Part 2 of the Article 171 of the Belarusian Criminal Code (an attempt of organizing or using prostitution or creating conditions for prostitution involving trafficking a person outside the country for prostitution) against a Russian citizen, aged 39," Svetlana Sakharova, the spokesperson for the Belarusian Investigative Committee's Vitebsk department, said on Facebook.
According to 47news.ru web portal, the detained man is Father Nikolay Kireyev of the St. Peter's and St. Paul's Church in the Vsevolozhsk District, Leningrad Region.