Australia to try Vatican Cardinal for child sex abuse

Australia to try Vatican Cardinal for child sex abuse

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Australia to try Vatican Cardinal for child sex abuse
Canberra, May 1 (IANS) An Australian court on Tuesday established that there was enough evidence to open a formal trial against Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican's financial chief who has been accused with paedophilia and numerous other historical sexual offences.
The decision was taken by Judge Belinda Wallington, who was reading the ruling behind closed doors in the Magistrates' Court of Melbourne, reports Efe news.
The ruling is part of a preliminary trial that began on March 5.
It is expected that Pell, 76, will plead not guilty to all charges, as his lawyer Robert Richter had earlier announced.
Pell must respond to "multiple charges relating to multiple complainants" in accordance with the decision delivered by Judge Wallington, who has also "thrown out" seven allegations against the Australian Cardinal.
The trial against Pell began after the cardinal testified on three occasions as a witness before the Royal Commission which investigated Australia's public and religious institutions and their involvement in alleged sexual abuse against minors.
According to the Commission, the Catholic Church received complaints from 4,500 people between 1980 and 2015 for alleged child abuses committed by around 1,880 members of the institution, especially priests, and some cases dated back to the 1920s.
However, the Royal Commission did not investigate the alleged cases of Pell's child sexual abuse.
He stood down from his post as Vatican treasurer in June last year to fight the case in his home country of Australia after being charged by Victoria state police.
The trial is the first time such a senior figure in the Holy See has faced criminal charges.
--IANS
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(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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