Franco Mulakkal: Kerala court clears bishop in nun's rape (75 อ่าน)
15 ม.ค. 2565 11:41
Franco Mulakkal: Kerala court clears bishop in nun's rape
An Indian court has cleared a bishop accused of raping a nun between 2014 and 2016 in a case that had shocked one of the country's oldest Christian communities.
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Franco Mulakkal, 54, was arrested from the southern state of Kerala in 2018. He had denied the allegations.
The case sparked widespread protests after the nun alleged that the Catholic Church had ignored her complaints.
The Vatican had temporarily relieved the bishop of his duties.
On Friday, a trial court in Kottayam city of Kerala found him not guilty of the charges.
"The prosecution failed to prove all the charges against the accused," said Kottayam Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) G Gopakumar.
The nun's lawyers said they would challenge the verdict in the high court.
But the bishop's legal team said it had "shattered the entire evidence" against him.
"It is a hotly challenged case. It is bound to be taken to the high court. That's alright," Raman Pillai, who led the defence team for Mr Mulakkal, told BBC Hindi.
"But the court said he was not guilty. Clearly, the evidence that was provided by the prosecution witnesses was discarded. This means the charge was false. There was no rape at all,'' he added.
Mr Mulakkal was the bishop of a diocese in Jalandhar in the northern state of Punjab. His accuser belongs to the Missionaries of Jesus, a congregation in Kerala that is part of the Jalandhar diocese.
15 ม.ค. 2565 12:12 #1
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