Quantcast
Connect with us

Father hopes for justice as Cardinal Pell waits on appeal verdict

Published

on

The father of one of the victims of jailed Australian Cardinal George Pell said Monday he hoped “justice would prevail” as a court prepared to rule on an appeal against his conviction of child sex abuse crimes.

Pell, the former Vatican number three, is appealing against his conviction on five counts of sexually abusing two 13-year-old choirboys in the 1990s, with a court due to hand down its decision on Wednesday.

ADVERTISEMENT

The case against the 78-year-old relied solely on the testimony of Pell’s surviving victim, as the other — who never spoke of the abuse — died of a drug overdose in 2014. Neither man can be identified for legal reasons.

Lawyer Lisa Flynn, who represents the dead man’s father, said he was anxious about the judgment, as were victims of child sexual abuse worldwide.

She told AFP they were waiting with “bated breath” ahead of “one of the most significant legal decisions in recent history”.

“He just wants closure so he can try to get on with his life and stop thinking about it every single day,” she said of her client.

ADVERTISEMENT

“He has expressed that he would like to see justice prevail and George Pell kept behind bars where he cannot prey on more unsuspecting children.”

Pell was convicted in December of sexually abusing the two boys in 1996 and 1997 at St Patrick’s Cathedral shortly after he was appointed Archbishop of Melbourne.

The prosecution called the surviving victim “a witness of truth” and defended the jury verdict as “unimpeachable”.

ADVERTISEMENT

A three-judge panel deliberating since a two-day appeal hearing in early June can either dismiss the appeal, order a retrial or quash his conviction.

Lawyers for Pell, the most senior Catholic church figure to be convicted of child sex abuse, branded the verdict “a disturbing failure of our jury system”.

They raised 13 objections to his convictions including that it was “physically impossible” for the cleric to have committed the crimes in a crowded cathedral.

ADVERTISEMENT

If the judges accept these arguments and rule in Pell’s favour, he could walk free immediately.

Alternatively, Victorian Bar Association president Matt Collins said, if the judges agreed with Pell’s lawyers that procedural irregularities affected the trial, they could order it held again.

“It doesn’t necessarily follow that there would be a retrial for a number of reasons: the prosecution would have to determine whether to pursue a retrial, and there could be scope for argument about whether Cardinal Pell could have a fair retrial given the publicity that attended the verdict in the last trial,” he told AFP.

ADVERTISEMENT

Pell has already faced two juries — his first trial in 2018 ended in a hung jury — with the second finding him guilty in December.

Both trials were hidden from the public until a comprehensive gag order was lifted in February after a batch of other charges against Pell were dropped.

The case has subsequently attracted a barrage of international media coverage amid intense interest in the downfall of a priest who once elected popes, controlled the Vatican’s vast finances, and even created a redress scheme to compensate victims of clerical abuse in Victoria.

If the judges dismiss Pell’s appeal he would be required to continue his six-year sentence, although Collins said his legal team would likely try to appeal to the High Court.

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

WATCH: Lewandowski’s lawyer freaks out, tries to block Congress from asking any further questions

Published

on

During the House Judiciary Committee testimony of President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski about the Russia investigation, Lewandowski's attorney frantically crashed the witness table and demanded that Congress stop asking questions of his client.

"Mister Chairman, as you know I am counsel for Mr. Lewandowski—" began the attorney.

"You are not a witness and you should not be seated at that table," cut in House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) sharply.

"I understand that," said Lewandowski's attorney. "I will leave after I register a formal protest based upon the debate that I heard. These seem to be unauthorized questions and I know you choose your words carefully—"

Continue Reading

CNN

Congressman blasts ‘tough guy’ Lewandowski for blowing off hearing: He wants to ‘launch his senatorial campaign’

Published

on

On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," House Democratic Caucus chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) laid into President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Corey Lewandowski for his aggressive behavior before the House Judiciary Committee.

"As you know, Democrats want to call other witnesses for this impeachment investigation," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "Do you worry, though, that Lewandowski set the precedent for not cooperating?"

"Well, Lewandowski portrayed himself as a tough guy," said Jeffries. "He's a likely candidate for a Senate seat in New Hampshire. And he was there probably to try to launch his senatorial campaign, not to take seriously his responsibility as a witness to participate in this hearing on behalf of the effort to find the truth for the American people. But that is okay. Because the American people can judge Lewandowski based on what they've seen from today and in terms of whether he was participating in a cover-up or participating in effort to reveal information to the American people."

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

‘This is not a reality TV show’: Democrat shuts down Rep. Collins when he tries to stop her questions about obstruction

Published

on

Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) had a freakout when a Democratic member of Congress dared to call out the president's obstructions of justice during the hearing with Corey Lewandowski Tuesday. During her questioning, Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL) drew conclusions outlined in special counsel Robert Mueller's report, but Collins proclaimed it was against the rules.

"Point of order, Mr. Chairman," Collins interrupted her opening statement.

"The gentleman will state his point of order," Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said.

"I would just ask, is the gentle lady accusing the president of a crime?" Collins asked.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image