Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Romanian priest gets 14 years` jail for crucifying nun

Pakistan News Service

BUCHAREST: A Romanian priest charged with crucifying a nun he believed was possessed by the devil was sentenced to 14 years behind bars on Monday, legal sources said.

Four nuns who were found guilty of being accomplices to the exorism-turned-murder were meanwhile sentenced to between five and eight years in prison, at the end of a trial in Vaslui in eastern Romania.

The five defendants were also, along with the Husi diocese in northern Romania, ordered to jointly pay 3,000 euros (3,950 dollars) in damages and interest to the victim`s parents.

The nun, 23-year-old Irina Cornici of the Saint Trinity of Tanacu monastery in northeastern Romania, died after being gagged, chained to a cross and left without food or water for several days. Her body was discovered on June 15, 2005.

The priest, Daniel Corogeanu, and the four nuns were charged with illegal confinement and murder.

The priest and nuns were arrested in June, 2005, and expelled from their order. They maintained their innocence, claiming they acted to deliver the young woman from evil.

According to the indictment, "the defendants have confessed to the facts during the investigation but claim they were motivated by a wish to save the victim from the evil spirits that possessed her."

The prosecutor also charged that the five had "intentionally" deprived Cornici, who suffered a psychological illness, of medical treatment.

The case sparked an outcry in Romania against the "mediaeval" practices tolerated by the Orthodox Church, to which a majority of the population belongs.

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