Australia’s Cardinal Pell files High Court appeal against child sex conviction

Cardinal George Pell is seen at County Court in Melbourne, Australia February 26, 2019. — AAP Image/David Crosling via Reuters
Cardinal George Pell is seen at County Court in Melbourne, Australia February 26, 2019. — AAP Image/David Crosling via Reuters

SYDNEY, Sept 17 — Disgraced Cardinal George Pell lodged an appeal against his child sex abuse convictions in Australia’s High Court today, an official in Canberra said.

It is the final avenue of appeal for the 78-year-old — who is serving a six-year sentence for sexually assaulting two choirboys in the 1990s — to get out of jail and clear his name.

The former Vatican treasurer who once helped elect popes, last month lost an appeal in Victoria state’s Court of Appeal in a landmark decision that saw the judges split in a 2-1 verdict.

Pell and his supporters have staunchly maintained he did not commit the crimes, which came to light after one of the victims went to police when the other died of a drug overdose in 2014.

There is no guarantee that the High Court will agree to consider Pell’s case. Australia’s most senior judges will now deliberate on whether to allow the appeal to proceed, a process that could take months. — AFP

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