March 29, 2018
By Lucie Morris-Marr
Fiery accusations by the defense against witnesses and even the magistrate dominated the last days of a month-long committal hearing into allegations of abuse against Cardinal George Pell, the treasurer for the Vatican.
Pell has attended Melbourne Magistrates Court every day of the hearing, which concluded Thursday after listening to testimony from 50 witnesses, including a number of Pell’s accusers.
The cardinal, Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic official, is alleged to have committed abuse in the 1970s, in locations including a swimming pool, a cinema, a chapel and on a hill top in country Victoria. Pell has vehemently denied the allegations.
An additional allegation of abuse emerged during the committal hearing, of an incident at a sacristy at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne. Between 1996 and 2001 he was the Archbishop for the city.
A final decision on whether the case will proceed to trial will be made by the magistrate at an undisclosed future date. There is still a further hearing to take place on April 17 for the defense and prosecution teams to make their verbal submissions to the court.
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