High Court Decision on Pell Appeal Due Next Week

April 2, 2020

The High Court of Australia has announced it will hand down its decision on Cardinal George Pell's final bid for freedom in Brisbane next week.

Australia's highest court will deliver its decision at 10:00am on Tuesday, 7 April.

Pell is serving a maximum of six years' jail after a jury found him guilty of sexually abusing two choirboys in St Patrick's Cathedral in 1996 when he was Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne.

He was convicted of one count of sexual penetration of a child under 16 and four counts of committing an indecent act with a child.

The former advisor to the Pope maintains he is innocent.

In August last year, in a 2-1 judgement, Victoria's Court of Appeal rejected Pell's bid to have his convictions overturned.

The High Court is Pell's final avenue for appeal.

The full bench of the court reserved its decision after two days of legal argument about his case last month.

Pell's lawyers had argued the jury made a mistake and his convictions should be quashed.

Pell's counsel, Bret Walker SC, told the High Court there was a "sheer unlikelihood" that his client could have committed the abuse in the midst of a "hive of activity" after a Solemn Mass at St Patrick's Cathedral.

Victoria's Director of Public Prosecutions Kerri Judd QC told the judges the evidence presented was enough for the original jury to convict Cardinal Pell beyond reasonable doubt.

Pell, 78, is being held in Barwon Prison near Geelong.

In February 2019, the Holy See announced its own internal inquiry into Pell, to be run by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, a body with the power to investigate its own.








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