A Beheira court today held its first session in the trial of Wael Saad Tawadros, the defrocked monk whose name was Ishaia’ al-Maqari, and the monk Falta’os al-Maqari, who have been charged with the premeditated murder of Anba Epiphanius, Abbot of St Macarius Monastery in Wadi al-Natroun in Egypt’s Western Desert.
The two suspects belonged to St Macarius’s and confessed to killing the Abbot as he left his cell in the early hours of 29 July and headed to the monastery church for Midnight Praise and Sunday Mass. During the investigation by the prosecution, Mr Tawadros confessed to hitting Anba Epiphanius thrice on the head with an iron beam while Falta’os checked that the coast was clear.
Falta’os al-Maqari later made a failed attempt at suicide, and still lies in hospital.
Mr Tawadros attended the court session, and was represented by his lawyer Ihab Sadra. Falta’os was represented by lawyer Michel Halim.
The defrocked monk pleaded not guilty, saying his confession was extracted under threat and pressure, and that he was in a poor psychological condition when he confessed. The court adjourned to 27 September by which time, it said, Falta’os al-Maqari is required to attend.
Earlier this month, two lawyers who were then representing Mr Tawadros had withdrawn their representation, but cited no specific reason for that.
23 September 2018