Will co-operate with investigation: Bishop Franco Mulakkal

Jalandhar (Punjab) [India], Oct 17 (ANI): After being released from Kottayam jail, Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who is accused of raping a nun, on Wednesday said that he would cooperate with the investigation and that he trusts the legal system of the country. Upon reaching Jalandhar earlier today, Bishop Mulakkal was welcomed by his followers and even thanked them for their support. "The prayers of the people of Punjab supported me. I believe that they will pray for me even in the days to come. I thank everyone. The investigation is underway and I am co-operating. I am a law abiding citizen and I trust the legal system of the country," he said. On Tuesday, Mulakkal was released from jail after he was granted unconditional bail on October 15 by the Kerala High Court. The court, while announcing the bail, had directed him to surrender his passport and asked him not to enter Kerala. The prelate, who was in charge of the Jalandhar diocese, was arrested on September 21 after three days of questioning in Kerala on charges of raping a nun of his congregation, Missionaries of Jesus, repeatedly between 2014 and 2016. After the arrest, the senior Catholic priest was sent to police custody and was produced before the Pala Judicial Magistrate Court in Kerala's Kottayam, where he was sent to judicial custody till October 6. Bishop Mulakkal's bail plea was rejected by a lower court earlier, following which he moved the high court. The Bishop was temporarily relieved of his pastoral duties by Pope Francis on September 20, after he expressed his desire to 'temporarily step aside', allowing him time to fight his case.
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