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Israel Court: Russian Priest Accused of Pedophilia Should Be Extradited

A Jerusalem court has held that a disgraced Russian Orthodox priest accused in his home country of several counts of pedophilia should be extradited, his sister announced via VKontakte on Monday.

Priest Gleb Grozovsky stands accused of having sexually assaulted two young girls — aged 9 and 12 at the time — at an Orthodox summer camp in Greece in 2013, according to the Times of Israel website. Investigators have reportedly claimed to have evidence that he committed a string of related crimes in and around St. Petersburg.

He maintains that the charges against him are false, and were politically motivated.

Lyubov Grozovskaya said on VKontakte that her brother will appeal the ruling to a higher court, and will also file a claim with the European Court of Human Rights.

After Russian law enforcement authorities launched a probe against him, Grozovsky fled to Israel. He applied for citizenship there, but his application was rejected. A Russian court issued an arrest warrant against him in absentia. Russia's General Prosecutor requested in April that the Israeli authorities extradite the 35-year-old pries.

Meanwhile, he has been suspended from his position with the Russian Orthodox Church.

A former football player, Grozovsky formerly served as a spiritual advisor to several players of the Zenit football club in St. Petersburg.

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