Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Australia: Pope Francis' aide Cardinal George Pell to stand trial on sexual abuse charges


Cardinal Pell was released on bail on the condition he does not leave Australia. He has already handed in his passport, the court heard.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | Int'l Desk
Source/Credit: France 24
By News Wires | April 30, 2018

Vatican finance chief Cardinal George Pell became the highest-ranked Catholic ever to be sent to trial over historic sex offences Tuesday, with the elderly priest vowing to fight the charges.

The 76-year-old was impassive throughout the hearing in Melbourne that ordered him to face a jury on "multiple" charges, although at least half of the allegations against him, including some of the most serious, were thrown out.

"Not guilty", the top aide to Pope Francis said loudly and without hesitation when asked his plea, a stance he has taken since first being charged last year.

Melbourne magistrate Belinda Wallington said she was "satisfied" there was enough evidence for a conviction on "multiple" charges with a directions hearing due on Wednesday to discuss a trial date.

Pell, who entered the court surrounded by a large police presence, was released on bail on the condition he does not leave Australia. He has already handed in his passport, the court heard.

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