Bucharest - A Romanian nun crucified by a priest and other nuns in an exorcism rite was still alive when she was rescued, but died of an overdose of adrenalin mistakenly administered by a medic, press reports said Saturday.
The revelations emerged from a new autopsy carried out at the demand of priest Daniel Corogeanu, who has been charged with four nuns, from a monastery at Tanacu in north-eastern Romania, with the illegal confinement and murder of Irina Cornici, 23.
The five have pleaded not guilty and allegedly told police that Cornici was possessed of the devil.
The latest development dominated Saturday's press, with the mass circulation Libertatea headlining the story "killed by the doctors."
Cornici was chained to a cross, gagged and deprived of food and water for several days at the remote monastery in June. Authorities had maintained the treatment proved fatal and she was already dead when other nuns called for an ambulance.
But the new autopsy, carried out after the nun's body was exhumed in September, showed that she died after a medic in the ambulance injected her with six doses of adrenalin which over-stimulated her heart, causing it to fail.
The five were expelled from their order following their arrest, but the case sparked an outcry in Romania against "mediaeval" practices tolerated by the Orthodox Church.
Corogeanu, 29, was unrepentant, telling an AFP reporter at the monastery before celebrating a funeral mass for Cornici in June, "God has performed a miracle for her, finally Irina is delivered from evil."