Advocate Aires Rodrigues who is one of the 15 residents of Ribandar charge sheeted in the 2004 Ribandar church case has accused the main complainant Fr. Newton Rodrigues of lying to the court about his inability to attend court proceedings.
The Judicial Magistrate First Class at Panjim on 21st January this year, had issued summons to Fr. Newton to be present in the court on 1st March 2011 to depose as a witness in the case.
The summons was faxed to him and also send by courier to the St. Bernadette Church at Calgary in Canada where Fr. Newton is currently posted as its pastor,
Vide a letter dated 7th March 2011 Fr. Newton informed the court that he was not keeping well and hence unable to attend the court and also said that due to church activities, he would not be able to appear in the court soon.
Vide another letter dated 5th May 2011 Fr. Newton again informed the court that he was unable to return to Goa.
However, Adv. Rodrigues claimed that Fr. Newton was very much in Goa in the month February this year and said his letter to the court were mere tactics to avoid appearing before it to depose in the matter.
He said that Fr. Newton attended the ceremonial first mass of a newly ordained priest Fr. Roque Fernandes at Calangute on 5th February and was seen several times at the dental clinic of Dr. Armando Silva at margao.
Besides, he also pointed out that Fr. Newton celebrated the silver jubilee of his ordination at the Seraulim Church in the same month.
Adv. Rodrigues has now demanded that a warrant be issued against Fr. Newton and accused him of filing a false and fabricated complaint against 15 Ribandar residents only to save himself from the charges of having molested a minor girl.