Australia’s High Court has released the full set of submissions for Cardinal George Pell’s March 11 and 12 final appeal hearing against historic child sexual abuse crimes.
The first appeal by Cardinal Pell – who continues to claim he is innocent – was dismissed 2-1 by a panel of judges of the Victorian Supreme Court in August. The documents released in late February show that the High Court requested submissions from Cardinal Pell’s counsel about the fact that the three judges of the Victorian court decided to view the original video testimony from Cardinal Pell’s only living victim as they considered his appeal.
As the only living witness to the crime, the victim’s testimony sits at the centre of Cardinal Pell’s conviction. The other victim, one of two 13-year-old choirboys he is convicted of assaulting in 1996 while archbishop of Melbourne, is deceased. The victims’ identities remain secret due to their age at the time of the offences.