Israel ready to deport priest Grozovsky to Russia

January 17, 2014

Moscow, January 17, Interfax - St. Petersburg priest Gleb Grozovsky, who has been accused of pedophilia and who is currently in Israel, could be deported to Russia, sources familiar with the situation told Interfax.

"Israel has said unofficially it was ready to deport the fugitive priest without resorting to the extradition procedure," a source told.

According to the source, the reason for Grozovsky's deportation will most likely be lack of legal grounds for his further stay in Israel.

The Orthodox priest accused of sexually assaulting minors is counting on getting Israeli citizenship in order to avoid being extradited to Russia, another source said.

"Grozovsky has filed an application for obtaining an Israeli passport. The decision to deny it will most likely be returned soon," the source said.

Investigators believe that in June 2013 Grozovsky, 34, sexually assaulted a 9-year-old and 12-year-old girl in a hotel of a children's camp of the Orthodox travelers' club Philadelphia on the Greek island of Cos.

Grozovsky, who was on a business trip at a center helping drug addicts in Israel, has been put on the international wanted list and placed under arrest in absentia.

The priest denies his guilt.

The Gatchina Diocese said in November that the business trip of Grozovsky was cancelled and that he should return to Russia. The priest has been suspended from working while the investigation is being conducted.