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    Sister Abhaya case: CBI court pronounces priest and nun guilty

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    A special CBI court, while providing the verdict in the sensational Sister Abhaya murder case, pronounced accused Father Thomas Kottoor and nun sister Sephy as guilty. Quantum of punishment will be announced on December 23. The case was a politically significant one, and consisted of numerous twists and turns.

    Sister Abhaya, a resident of Pius X convent in Kottayam in Kerala, was found dead in the well of the convent on March 27, 1992.

    Initially, both the Crime Branch and the CBI termed the death a suicide, but activist Joemon Puthenpurackal, who formed an action council, was pursuing the case. The turnaround happened after Puthenpurackal managed to get the case reopened. Following this, the CBI cracked it.

    On November 19, 2008, the CBI arrested the three accused, including Poothrikkayil—a former Malayalam professor at a Kottayam college where Abhaya studied; Kottoor, the diocesan chancellor of the Catholic Church at Kottayam, and Sephy, a resident of the convent where the incident took place.

    On January 1, 2009, the three accused got bail.

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