After calling the allegations against him a conspiracy hatched by the anti-church elements, rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal, in an exclusive interview with Republic TV’s Editor News & Investigation Prema Sridevi, said that he is ‘innocent’ and the allegations against him are ‘baseless and false’.
“I am saying that I am innocent based on truth. All the allegations are baseless and false. It is a concocted story. I can touch the Bible and say that I haven’t raped anyone,” said the Bishop.
The Bishop said that if the police manage to find evidence against him, he is ready to be arrested and put behind bars.
“Give me the death sentence if found guilty. If we analyse the law, statement of the lady is 100% an evidence. The arrest shall happen as per probe by the police. If there is evidence, I should be arrested. If I am found guilty, I must be punished," said Bishop Franco Mulakkal
When he was asked how he would prove his innocence in the case, the Bishop said:
“1st evidence is to prove the physical presence of the person, only then rape can be established. For that, the cops have taken the log book. The logbook of those two years, I am given to understand that cops have seized.”
When it was pointed to him, that in the seized log books his presence was mentioned on the dates, the nun alleged rape, the Bishop said:
"On the 5th of May 2014, in the logbook it mentions that two sisters had gone for a programme and they came back to the convent with me. It doesn’t mention that I stayed there because I didn’t stay."
He also said that the nun’s charge says that he stayed there for 13 times, but to verify that charge, the logbooks need to be checked. He also said that “I might have spent the night there 8 or 9 times. So, he said he believes "her claim in contradictory”
The Bishop then accused the victim nun of “cooking up the story” to hide her own past.
“A lady from Jalandhar came and said the nun was having an illicit relationship with her husband. The complainant was the Mother General and the first elected Mother General and for 6 years she was the Mother General. And, after that, she lost the election. She and her group started opposing the newly elected Mother General and there was the power struggle for a while,” said the Bishop.
Earlier in the day, while breaking his silence for the first time, Bishop Franco Mulakkal said the 'nuns are free to protest and that he has nothing to say on the matter.'
“The nuns are free to protest. They have right to protest. Won’t comment on that. I am sitting in Punjab. What is happening in Kerala I don’t know much. Who is standing by me, I don’t know,” said the Bishop.
The Bishop also said that it’s a conspiracy hatched by anti-church elements, adding, “they don’t have just this grievance, they have other grievances also.”