June 30, 2017
The Catholic Church could be forced to fork out for an expensive trip from Rome to Melbourne if doctors decide George Pell is too ill to fly on a standard plane.
Cardinal Pell could take a lengthy boat trip from Europe to Australia or be “medivacced” on a private jet at a cost of about $15,000 an hour.
Cardinal Pell gave evidence at the child sex abuse royal commission last year via videolink from Rome, with his lawyers arguing his heart condition was not compatible with a long flight.
He said yesterday he would return to Melbourne to fight historical sex abuse charges but his mode of transport is unclear. “I’ve spoken to my lawyers about when this will be necessary. And I’ve spoken to my doctors about the best way to achieve this,” he said.
Strategic Aviation Solutions chairman Neil Hansford said people were evacuated on “jet ambulances” on a daily basis. He said the planes include a doctor, a nurse and ample medical equipment to cater for health concerns.
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