Christian priest was shot twice and left for dead outside Greek Orthodox church in Lyon by angry husband whose wife he had been sleeping with
- Nikolaos Kakavelakis, 52, was gunned down by his Lyon church on October 31
- There were initial fears he was the latest victim of Islamic terrorism in France
- But Father Kakavelakis has now awoken from his coma and revealed his killer
- He says he was shot by a husband whose wife the priest had been sleeping with
A priest who was shot twice outside his Greek Orthodox Church in Lyon was the victim of an angry husband whose wife he was sleeping with.
Nikolaos Kakavelakis, a 52-year-old father of two, was initially feared to be the latest victim of Islamic terrorism in France after he was attacked with a sawn-off shotgun on October 31.
But Father Kakavelakis has now emerged from a coma and told detectives that the man who attempted to murder him was a love rival.
Nikolaos Kakavelakis, was shot twice outside his Greek Orthodox Church in Lyon was the victim of an angry husband whose wife he was sleeping with
The 52-year-old father of two, was initially feared to be the latest victim of Islamic terrorism in France
Nicolas Jacquet, the Lyon Prosecutor, said in a statement released on Saturday that the attacker ‘turns out to be the husband of a woman who was having an affair with the victim.’
An investigation for ‘attempted murder’ has since been launched, and the arrested suspect’s wife is also in custody, said the prosecutor.
The attacker has solely been identified as a 40-year-old man of Georgian nationality who lives close to the Greek Orthodox Church in the 7th arrondissement of Lyon.
He has admitted gunning Father Kakavelakis down while he was locking his Church up, and then left the priest for dead.
Father Kakavelakis has now emerged from a coma and told detectives that the man who attempted to murder him was a love rival
The suspect ran to his home nearby, and believed he might have got away with the crime, until Father Kakavelakis made a miracle recovery.
The suspect was arrested at his home on Friday, and had now made a ‘full confession’, said Mr Jacquet. His wife was arrested at the same time, he added.
Father Kakavelakis, a Greek national who had been a priest in Lyon for the past decade, had resigned from this job a month ago, and was working out a notice period.
The attack on him came two days after three people were murdered in the Notre Dame Roman Catholic Basilica in the southern French city of Nice.
A Tunisian-born terrorist linked to radical Islamism carried out the crimes, and was shot 14 times by police before being taken into custody.
The attacker has solely been identified as a 40-year-old man of Georgian nationality who lives close to the Greek Orthodox Church (pictured)
Last month school teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded by a Chechen-born terrorist after showing Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to a class of school children as part of a ‘free speech’ lesson.
This led to many assuming the attack in Lyon might be linked to terrorism, but that has now been ruled out by the French authorities.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex said his government was determined to allow ‘each and everyone to practice their worship in complete safety and in complete freedom’.
Following the Lyon attack, the Greek Orthodox Holy Diocese of France released a statement reading: ‘We pray for a speedy recovery and unequivocally condemn all forms of violence.’