By BBC Sinhala –
Character witnesses supporting the defence were called in to give testimonials for the second day in the rape and child sex abuse case against Ven.Pahalagama Somaratana at Iselworth Crown court in West London.
Twelve character witnesses initially appeared at court to give evidence on behalf of the defence.
First witness said that she knew the accused Ven. Pahalagama Somaratana for over thirty five years. She had known the accused since she was ten, and he had “always been a professional”.
“He’s a priest and as far as I’m concerned he’s never stepped out of that role” She said.
Known for thirty years
Another Medical practitioner said that she had known the accused for over thirty years and never had any complaints from her children about the chief monk.
Giving evidence to support the chief monk’s defence, another medical doctor said that the accused had treated her appropriately. She also said that she had never been alone with the monk.
Another doctor who gave evidence on Wednesday said that the accused had always been there to support her family.
“Very respectful, I have never been fearful of him in any way” said the witness.
Another General Practitioner who took the witness stand to reassure the courts on Wednesday said the chief monk is one of the most respected monks he had seen in his life.
Cross examining a witness, prosecuting lawyer asked, if it was possible to know what went on in the temple in a busy weekend.
Always saw things
“You couldn’t have seen everything that was going on?” asked the prosecution.
“No I couldn’t, but everyone is around someone will always see something”.
The witness who is also a Sunday school teacher told the court that she had never seen the interior of the monk’s bedroom.
Sri Lanka High Commission
A statement from Sri Lankan high commission in London was also read in court by the defence.
The case continues and the court may reach a verdict in the coming week according to a spokesman of Isleworth Crown Court.
Nayaka Thero is accused of one count of rape and several sexual abuses of under aged girls in nineteen seventies and eighties.
65-year-old Ven. Pahalagama Somaratana, chief monk of Thames Buddhist Vihara at Dulverton Rd, Croydon, has pleaded not guilty of all charges.
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