Autopsy on Egyptian monk shows signs of poisoning

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Source: Associated Press


CAIRO (AP) — An autopsy on a Coptic Orthodox monk who had until recently belonged to a monastery northwest of Cairo where the abbot was killed showed clear signs of poisoning, Egyptian security and medical officials said on Thursday.

They said the autopsy was performed late Wednesday, hours after the monk was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital at Assiut, the closest city to the Al-Muharraq monastery where the monk has lived since last month. He was buried Wednesday night in St. Macarius monastery, where he joined as a novice more than a decade ago and the scene of the killing of the abbot, Bishop Epiphanius.

Zeinoun al-Maqari died a day before he was scheduled to testify for the prosecution in the trial of two monks — one of whom has been defrocked — charged with the killing of the abbot.

One of the defendants, Faltaous, did not attend Thursday’s court session because of the serious injuries he sustained from jumping off a four-story building inside the monastery in an apparent suicide attempt shortly after the abbot’s killing, according to his lawyer, Michel Halim.

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