Fate of Catholic bishop Franco in rape case to be known on Friday

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Fate of Catholic bishop Franco in rape case to be known on Friday

Thiruvananthapuram: The trial court hearing the nun rape case in which the accused is Catholic Bishop Franco Mulakkal on Monday said the verdict will be delivered on Friday.

The Kottayam additional district court judge G. Gopakumar will pronounce the verdict on Friday.

It was while serving as Bishop of the Jalandhar Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, he was accused of raping a nun, who belonged to the Missionaries of Jesus congregation.

During his visits between 2014 and 2016 to Kerala, he was accused of raping the 43-year old nun on 13 occasions. Later, he was removed from the charge of the Jalandhar diocese.

The complaint was filed against him in June 2018 in Kerala and Mulakkal was arrested on September 21, 2018 on rape charges.

He secured bail on October 16, 2018.

The charge sheet names 83 witnesses, including the Cardinal of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Mar George Alencherry, three bishops, 11 priests and 22 nuns.

Of the 83 witnesses, 39 were called and they were heard.

Incidentally, Franco had approached the Kerala High Court and also the Supreme Court to quash the FIR against him, but both the courts refused to do so and the trial began and has now concluded.

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