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Nun cleared of selling babies in Sri Lanka

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December 15, 2011 05:23 AM EST | AP

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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — A Sri Lankan court on Thursday cleared a Roman Catholic nun from Mother Teresa's charity who was accused of selling babies for adoption.

Judge Yvonne Fernando discharged Sister Mary Eliza without presenting charges. The nun, from Mother Teresa's Indian-based Missionaries of Charity, was arrested last month for allegedly selling babies born from unwed mothers.

The Missionaries of Charity says its home in Moratuwa, south of Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo, houses women who become pregnant outside of marriage or after being raped, and gives the babies up through legal adoption if their mothers don't want them.

Officials from the National Child Protection Authority and police raided the home on Nov. 23 and arrested Sister Mary Eliza, its head, after a tip-off.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the head of the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka, called the allegations groundless and vowed to boycott all state functions until the case was resolved.