NEW DELHI — The trial of Indian Bishop Franco Mulakkal, accused of raping a nun, has entered its final stages, with the court recording the testimonies of the investigating officials to be followed by their cross-examination, reported ucanews.com.
“This process is set to be completed by the end of this month,” with final arguments and a ruling in December, said a government official who did not want to be named.
Mulakkal of Jalandhar Diocese is accused of repeatedly raping a former superior general of the Missionaries of Jesus, a diocesan congregation under his patronage, between the years 2014 and 2016.
The bishop maintains that the case stems from the nun’s personal vendetta against him for initiating disciplinary action against her violations of norms and financial misappropriation.
Government officials in Kerala state, where the trial was being held, tried to transfer the presiding judge, but the state high court overruled the move. The attempted transfer met with opposition from supporters of both the accused and the victim, who suspected a ploy to sabotage the ongoing hearings in the case, ucanews.com reported.
A special investigation team filed a 2,000-page charge sheet against Mulakkal in April 2019.
He continues to hold the title of bishop and remains in the bishop’s house, although the Vatican appointing an administrator to run the diocese.