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Trail Court Acquits Former Bishop Franco Mulakkal In Nun Rape Case

Thiruvananthapuram: The Additional District and Sessions Court in Kottayam on Friday acquitted Franco Mulakkal, the erstwhile head of the Latin Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar, in the sensational case pertaining to the rape of a nun in the same diocese.

Judge G Gopakumar pronounced the judgment in one line, “the accused has been acquitted”. Detailed judgment is awaited.

“Daivathinu sthuthi (Praise the Lord!)” Mulakkal told reporters, before leaving the court premises.

The judgment came out as a shocker to the prosecution, the investigation team and the complainant. Special public prosecutor Jithesh J Babu told the media that an appeal would be filed in the higher court.

“This is an extremely unfortunate verdict. We had expected a conviction. We will appeal. We had a lot of corroborative evidence. All the witnesses in the case were ordinary people,” investigating officer S Harisankar, former Kottayam SP, told reporters.

Notably, Mulakkal had been arrested in September 2018,  after a nun alleged that he raped her 13 times at her Congregation’s mission house in Kottayam district, over a period of two years from May 5, 2014. He was in jail for 25 days.

He was charged with rape, criminal intimidation, and forceful confinement.