Cardinal George Pell (File pic)
Cardinal George Pell (File pic)

Cardinal George Pell walks free after Australian court overturns child sex conviction

ANI | Updated: Apr 07, 2020 12:42 IST

Brisbane [Australia], April 7 (ANI): Cardinal George Pell walked out of jail as a free man on Tuesday after Australia's highest court overturned his convictions in the child sex abuse case.
The highest-ranking Roman Catholic leader, 78, was sentenced to six years in prison last March after he was found guilty of molesting two 13-year-old boys following a Sunday Mass in 1996, The New York Times reported.
However, a panel of seven judges has ruled that the jury ought to have considered a doubt about his guilt. The judges cited "compounding improbabilities" to conclude that the verdicts on five counts reached in 2018 was "unreasonable or cannot be supported by the evidence."
Cardinal Pell, in a statement, reiterated his assertion that he had committed no crimes. "I have consistently maintained my innocence while suffering from a serious injustice," he said.
"This has been remedied today with the High Court's unanimous decision," stated the Cardinal, who also served as the chief financial officer of the Vatican, as well as an adviser to Pope Francis.
The verdict, handed down by Chief Justice Susan Kiefel to a largely empty courtroom in Brisbane because of social distancing measures to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, shocked Catholics in Australia and around the world. (ANI)

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