08/21/2019, 10.31
AUSTRALIA - VATICAN
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Card. George Pell sentenced on appeal

The Court of Appeal of three judges dismissed the appeal by 2 to 1. He remains in prison, serving a sentence of six years.  Card. Pell's lawyers plans to appeal to the High Court.  The note from the Vatican.

 

Melbourne (AsiaNews) - Card.  George Pell, 78, lost his appeal against a sentence that convicted  him to 6 years in prison for child sexual abuse.  This morning, the Court of Appeal of three judges of the State of Victoria reiterated the sentence handed down last December by two to one.

Card  George Pell, the former Vatican Secretary for the Economy, was accused of abusing two minors in Melbourne cathedral immediately after a Sunday solemn mass in 1990. The accusation is based on the testimony of one of the victims, who cannot be named  and who gave a closed door testimony.  Another victim, who died of an overdose, retracted the accusation before he died.

Card. Pell's lawyers appealed showing several inconsistencies in the testimony and judging it "unreasonable".  According to the two judges who voted against the appeal, Anne Ferguson and Chris Maxwell, the testimony of the accusor is "very convincing" and not a "lie".

Card. Pell's lawyers plans to appeal to the High Court.

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that perhaps Card.  Pell will be stripped of the honorary title of the Order of Australia.

In a note published this morning in Rome, expressing "respect for the Australian judicial authorities", the Vatican "takes note of the decision to dismiss the appeal of Cardinal George Pell" and "while waiting to learn about any further developments in the judicial proceedings, recalls  that the Cardinal has always reaffirmed his innocence and that it is his right to appeal to the High Court ".

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