Australia's highest court to rule on Pell's appeal next week

Breaking Stories

Australia's highest court will deliver its ruling next week on whether to overturn the convictions of Cardinal George Pell, the most senior Catholic convicted of child sex abuse.

The 78-year-old Pell is one year into a six-year sentence for molesting two 13-year-old choirboys in Melbourne’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral while he was the city’s archbishop in the late 1990s.

The High Court said Thursday a single judge will deliver the verdicts of all seven at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the east coast city of Brisbane. It had heard his appeal March 11-12 before the court's hearings were canceled due to the coronavirus risk.

The court's decision could be the last chance for Pope Francis’ former finance minister to clear his name.

A Victoria state County Court jury convicted Pell on all charges in December 2018. The Victoria Court of Appeal in August last year rejected his appeal against the jury verdicts in a 2-1 majority decision.

Pell's lawyer, Bret Walker, told the High Court last month that if it found the Victorian appeals court had made a mistake in upholding the convictions, Pell should be acquitted.

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