Ex-Vatican treasurer Pell loses appeal against sex abuse convictions, to stay in jail

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Former Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell lost an appeal against his conviction for sexually abusing two 13-year-old boys and will remain in prison for at least another three years, a court ruled on Wednesday. Pell, the highest ranking Catholic worldwide to be convicted of child sex offences, was sentenced in March to six years in jail after being found guilty on five charges of abusing the two boys at St Patrick's Cathedral while he was Archbishop of Melbourne in the late 1990s. Pell appealed his conviction to Victoria's Court of Appeal on three grounds, but mainly on the argument that the jury's verdict was unreasonable based on the evidence at the trial

Reuters August 21, 2019 06:10:53 IST
Ex-Vatican treasurer Pell loses appeal against sex abuse convictions, to stay in jail

ExVatican treasurer Pell loses appeal against sex abuse convictions to stay in jail

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Former Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell lost an appeal against his conviction for sexually abusing two 13-year-old boys and will remain in prison for at least another three years, a court ruled on Wednesday.

Pell, the highest ranking Catholic worldwide to be convicted of child sex offences, was sentenced in March to six years in jail after being found guilty on five charges of abusing the two boys at St Patrick's Cathedral while he was Archbishop of Melbourne in the late 1990s.

Pell appealed his conviction to Victoria's Court of Appeal on three grounds, but mainly on the argument that the jury's verdict was unreasonable based on the evidence at the trial.

"Having reviewed the whole of the evidence, two of the judges of the court of appeal ... have decided that it was open to the jury to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Cardinal Pell was guilty of the offences charged," Supreme Court of Victoria Chief Justice Anne Ferguson said, reading out a summary of the court's decision.

Pell had also appealed on the grounds that the trial judge was wrong to have blocked the defence from showing a video animation to back up its closing argument and that Pell should have entered his plea while in front of potential jurors rather than by a video link in the court house.

The three appeal judges decided to only grant leave to hear the first ground of appeal, that the jury verdict was unreasonable, and that was then dismissed on a 2-1 verdict.

Under the terms of his sentencing, Pell will be eligible for parole in October 2022, when he will be 81.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Michael Perry and Paul Tait)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.