Cardinal George Pell’s child abuse conviction quashed

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Australia’s High Court has quashed the conviction of Catholic Cardinal George Pell. It is expected he will walk free from Barwon prison within hours.

In March 2018 Cardinal Pell was sentenced to a six years in prison. A jury found him guilty of five offences including sexual penetration of a child. The crime allegedly occurred while he was Bishop of Melbourne in the 1990’s.

His appeal to Victorian Courts was not successful, and his legal team took the case to the High Court. Today the full bench of the High Court unanimously voted to overturn the conviction.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the judgement was delivered by Chief Justice Susan Kiefel in an almost empty Brisbane Court Room with the decision posted online. Cardinal Pell was not present in court and is being informed of the success of his appeal by his legal team.

The judgement was critical of the Victorian Court of Appeal saying that the judges has failed to give due consideration to the possibility that the crime may not have occurred, and that there was enough evidence to cast reasonable doubt over the accusation.

OIP Staff


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