2013-08-07 15:37:00

Man suspected of killing priest in Pskov to be sent for psychiatric evaluation

Pskov, August 7, Interfax - A Moscow resident suspected of killing Pskov priest Pavel Adelgeim will be sent for psychiatric evaluation in the short term.

There is no information of the suspect's psychiatric health for now, the Russian Investigative Committee for the Pskov Region told Interfax. Witnesses say the man's behavior was strange, the agency said.

Experts have already sent requests to places where the suspect resided, studied and worked in order to gather all necessary information for the psychiatric evaluation.

A 27-year-old Moscow resident has been detained on suspicion of murdering the priest. According to witnesses, the man, who attacked Father Pavel, screamed that the devil told him to kill the priest. The suspect stabbed himself in the chest during the arrest and was brought to a hospital. He has already undergone an operation.

Fr. Pavel, who turned 75 on August 1, became a priest during the Soviet era. In 1969 he was arrested for circulating self-published religious literature and in 1970 sentenced to three years in labor camps for "slander of the Soviet system." He lost his right leg in 1971 due to unrest in a labor facility and was released with a disability in 1972. Adelgeim became a member of the Pskov Diocese in 1976.

The priest harshly criticized the state of the Russian Orthodox Church and its leaders in recent years.