PANJIM: The trial of Adv. Aires Rodrigues and 14 other Ribandar residents in the 2004 Ribandar Church case will continue on June 21st at 10 am before the Panaji Judicial Magistrate First Class Mrs. Sarika Faldessai.
The Court will continue with the examination of Old Goa Police Sub Inspector H.L.Hanshakutti who had initially investigated the case. The government had later handed over the case to the Crime Branch. Inspector Braz Menezes who investigated the case at the Crime Branch will depose in Court on June 23rd as the last prosecution witness.
Adv. Aires Rodrigues will then examine his witnesses which include Archbishop of Goa Filipe Neri Ferrao.  The Court has already issued a warrant of arrest against Father Newton Rodrigues for not being present in court despite being summoned. It was on Fr. Newton Rodrigues’s complaint that Adv. Aires Rodrigues and 14 other Ribandar residents were charge sheeted for trespassing into the church corridor and disturbing a church committee meeting. One of the accused is a 80 year old widow who is now bedridden.
In 2004 Adv. Aires Rodrigues was leading an agitation demanding action against Fr. Newton Rodrigues for having allegedly molested a 13 year old girl from Ribandar. While Adv. Aires Rodrigues and others were charge sheeted for confronting Fr. Newton Rodrigues, the case filed against Fr.Newton Rodrigues by the mother of the 13 year old girl who was allegedly molested by Fr. Newton was closed.
Though then Senior Superintendent of Police (Crime) and the Director of Prosecution had opined that it was a fit case for charge sheeting Fr Newton Rodrigues, then Governor of Goa Mr. S.C Jamir reportedly intervened to save Fr. Newton Rodrigues from being charge sheeted. On 14th July 2005 the case file was sent to Governor S.C. Jamir and on 31st August 2005 the police submitted a report to the Children’s Court that the case against Fr. Newton Rodrigues be closed. Fr. Newton Rodrigues was later relieved from the Archdiocese of Goa and moved to Canada.


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