Denver, Colo., Aug 29, 2019 / 18:00 pm America/Denver (CNA).
An Indian court has ruled that Cardinal George Alencherry will stand trial in a case related to controversial land deals in the Syro-Malabar Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly.
The Ernakulam Principal Sessions Court ruled Aug. 24 that Alencherry, along with the former financial officer of the archdiocese and a real estate agent will face charges that the cardinal sold archdiocesan land at undervalued prices, for a loss of $10 million.
A court in the Indian state of Kerala initially registered a criminal case against Alencherry in April. The cardinal and his co-defendants filed a plea to dismiss the case, but this week’s ruling means the case will continue unless a higher court intervenes.
A spokesman for the Syro-Malabar Church told CNA in July that Alencherry acted in good faith in the allegedly corrupt land deals and has the support of the Vatican.
Father Abraham Kavilpurayidathil, press officer for the Syro-Malabar Church in Kerala state, told CNA that in his view, the land deal was more complicated than is usually reported, and that said that Alencherry’s actions were an effort to make the best decisions in an unexpected situation.