High Court to hear Pell application

15 November 2019

PA

Cardinal George Pell departs the Supreme Court of Victoria, Melbourne, in August

Cardinal George Pell departs the Supreme Court of Victoria, Melbourne, in August

THE full bench of the High Court of Australia will hear Cardinal George Pell’s application for leave to appeal against his conviction for child sexual abuse. The hearing, to be held next March, will either refuse leave, or will allow the appeal to proceed. If the application is granted, it is likely that the appeal will begin on the same day.

Cardinal Pell is seeking to overturn the Victorian Court of Appeal’s majority decision in August to uphold his conviction on five charges last December by the Victorian County Court (News, 23 August).

He is serving a minimum sentence of three years and eight months for the abuse of two choirboys at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne, in the 1990s, when he was the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne.

One of the choirboys was the principal witness in Cardinal Pell’s trial. The other has died.

Lisa Flynn, the lawyer representing the deceased victim’s father, said that her client was “gutted” by the High Court’s decision. The ongoing legal process was “extremely retraumatising for him”, she said.

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