Cardinal and the showman: Pell barrister has been ruthless in defence

The Age

March 30, 2018

By Melissa Cunningham & Adam Cooper

From the first day the door of court 22 was opened to the public, the man hired to represent Cardinal George Pell was ruthless in defence of his client.

Barrister Robert Richter, QC, is renowned for his confrontational courtroom tactics and they were on full display as he mercilessly tore into police, advocates for victims of sex abuse and even the magistrate.

Mr Richter is Australia’s foremost criminal defence counsel, known for successfully defending Mick Gatto on the charge of murdering underworld hitman Andrew Veniamin. Mr Gatto later had ‘‘Robert Richter’’ tattooed on his chest.

The QC has represented the dangerous, violent and the deeply disturbed, Hoddle Street massacre killer Julian Knight not least among them.

But Cardinal Pell, the highest-ranking modern-day Catholic to be charged with sexual offences, is Mr Richter ‘s most high-profile client.

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