The Kerala priest who, in a leaked audio conversation, was heard bribing a nun, asking her to bury a rape case against a bishop, surrendered in court on Wednesday.
According to a report by Mathrubhumi news, Father James Erthayil surrendered at the Pala Judicial Magistrate Court in connection with the alleged rape of a nun by Bishop Franco Mullakkal of the Jalandhar diocese.
According to reports, he also got bail the same day.
A case was levelled against him for trying to bribe and threaten a nun to withdraw the rape complaint levelled against the Jalandhar Bishop.
The leaked audio clip, in possession with TNM, is between Father James Erthayil, part of the Kanjirappally diocese of the CMI and Sister Anupama from the Missionaries of Jesus in Kottayam.
Sister Anupama was one of the five nuns who came out in support of the 44-year-old nun allegedly raped by Bishop Franco Mullakkal of the Jalandhar diocese.
In the 11-minute audio clip first broadcast by Asianet, Father James attempts to bribe Sister Anupama into withdrawing her support to the survivor in return for a convent that would be built exclusively for the six nuns, including the survivor.
In the audio clip, Father James can be heard saying, “I am the priest you met yesterday during the mass. I have tried to meet you twice but was not able to meet you. I have gotten information, not that anyone directly spoke to me, that ‘they’ would buy some ten acres of land and build a convent to accommodate some eight-ten nuns.”
Sister Anupama then can be heard asking, “Who would build the convent?”
The priest replies the Jalandhar diocese and a benefactor.
The priest also added that the convent would be built only if the nun withdraws the rape case.
However, Sister Anupama refused the priest’s offer and replied that they are not going to withdraw the complaint and they will continue to stand for justice.