Cardinal George Pell to face trial on sex abuse charges

01 May, 2018, 12:46 | Author: Bert Pena
  • The 76-year-old faced a four week-long pre-trial committal hearing in March

He was given a large police guard as he entered the Melbourne Magistrates' Court in front of dozens of media representatives and members of the public.

Wallington dropped half the charges but found there was enough evidence to commit Pell, one of the country's most senior Catholic figures, to trial on multiple counts.

Cardinal Pell had his bail extended and is due to appear in the County Court on Wednesday, when a judge will set a date for his trial.

She also struck out one charge related to alleged offending at the swimming pool, because the complainant was an "unsatisfactory witness".

In a statement released Tuesday, Pell's legal team said its client "steadfastly" maintained his innocence.

"He has voluntarily returned to Australia to meet these accusations".

"He will defend the remaining charges".

Pell pleaded not guilty on May 1 after being ordered to stand trial on multiple historical sexual offence charges in Australia.

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Mr Richter also claimed photos of Dr Pell accompanying Father Gerald Ridsdale to court in 1993, to support him during a sex abuse case hearing, created feelings of "hatred" towards the Cardinal who was then punished by his accusers.

"It is hard to see how a jury can convict on the evidence of a man who cannot recall what he said one minute ago", Wallington said, even when considering the trauma of giving evidence.

"This is a promising step forward for victims of sexual assault". Many sessions were closed to the public, which is standard practice in Victoria in sexual offence cases.

But it added that "Archbishop Hart expressed his confidence in the judicial system in Australia and said that justice must now take its course".

The pope has said he would not comment on the case until it was over.

It followed a trip to Chile in January that was seen as a resounding failure after he defended a bishop accused of covering up the crimes of a paedophile priest.

Richter advised Wallington in his ultimate submissions two weeks in the past that the complainants may need testified towards one of many church's strongest males to punish him for failing to behave towards abuse by clerics. Prior to his appointment to the Vatican, he was the archbishop of Sydney for more than 10 years.

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