File Photo: The late Bishop Epiphanius, the head of Abu Makar (Saint Macarius the Great) (Photo: The Coptic Orthodox Church Official FB page)
Security authorities executed defrocked monk Wael Saad Tawadros, commonly known as Isaiah El-Maqary, after the Court of Cassation upheld his death sentence in July 2020 for killing Bishop Epiphanius, the head of Abu Makar Monastery in summer 2018.
On 29 July 2018, the 64-year-old bishop was found dead under suspicious circumstances.
The prosecution charged the monks Isaiah El-Maqary and Faltaous El-Makary, who were defrocked later, with premeditated murder.
According to the prosecution, the two men ambushed the bishop on his way from his residence to the monastery chapel, where Isaiah, now referred to by his non-monastic name, Tawadros, hit him on the head with a steel bar.
The Damanhour Criminal Court issued death sentences to the two defrocked monks in April 2019.
In July 2020, the cassation court upheld the death sentence for Tawadros and reduced Faltaous El-Makary’s death sentence to life in prison.
Following the murder, the church imposed new measures to regulate monastic life, including a freeze on accepting new monks, a ban on monks’ use of social media, a ban on building non-sanctioned places of worship, and a ban on monks leaving monasteries without official permission.