In a traffic accident in Central Moscow about a month ago, eyewitnesses claim that the driver was under the influence of alcohol and/or illegal substances at the time of the crash. The sports car, driven by a senior clergyman at Moscow’s Church of the Prophet Elijah, was claimed to have diplomatic number plates owned by the Embassy of Malta. The foreign office has since issued a denial but has confirmed that the car belonged to a Russian worker at the Maltese embassy.
A report in the Russian ‘gazeta.ru’ claims that the BMW sports car had red diplomatic number plates at the time of the crash. Eyewitnesses give the number of this BMW Z4 as D112D007 77rus and as yet, it has not been established if this number was assigned to the Maltese embassy. The accident occurred at around 11:30 pm. The collision involved two other cars and several people were injured. The priest, Alexei Podobedov, uses the name Timofei in his sermons and his name first made headlines when he is said to have baptized the surrogate daughter of a Russian pop star.
Surprisingly, the incident was not reported immediately, but only after a two-week period. The driver of one of the other cars involved in the accident feared that the incident would be hushed up so that the priest would go unpunished. The driver claims that a car that arrived on the scene of the accident soon after the priest was seen making a phone call, removed the plates and offered her money as compensation. The driver of the other car involved in the collision confirmed the report and the fact that money was offered to settle any possible claim.
Both drivers claim that the priest did not turn up at the Police office to fill in the required reports regarding the crash.
A lawyer for the priest, dismissed claims that his client was drunk. He said, however, that the priest was under medication for a particular condition. He is also investigating any possible mechanical faults that might be responsible for this accident. He also confirms the issue regarding compensation but it is unclear if the owners of the other cars were offered or asked for compensation.
A church spokesman has asked the traffic police to investigate and hinted that the Church would give its own assessment of this crash.