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Last updated: 22 July, 2011 - Published 12:04 GMT
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"Abuser" monk's bail conditions eased
Aparekke Punnanada thero
The monk has admitted 'occasionally' sexually abusing underage monks, says the NCPA
A court in Sri Lanka has eased bail conditions for a Buddhist monk accused of abusing underage novice monks in his custody.

Aparekke Punnanada thero, a former parliamentarian, is charged in Colombo magistrate courts of sexually abusing three novice monks in his custody.

National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) in an earlier report to the court stated that the monk, who was among nine Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) parliamentarians in the previous parliament, has admitted "occasionally" abusing the underage monks.

The counsel appearing for the accused on Thursday requested the court to ease the bail condition that required the accused to appear before the NCPA twice a month.

Agreeing to the request, the Colombo magistrate eased the condition to appear before the NCPA once a month instead.

Three child monks were produced in court as requested at an earlier hearing.

Alleged victims, who are currently under the custody of probation officers, gave evidence to the court on Thursday.

The NCPA requested a report by a probation officer as investigations are still continuing.

The court, as per the request, ordered the police to provide a report by a probation officer as soon as possible.

The case has been postponed until 29 September.

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