News High Court reserves its decision on Cardinal George Pell

High Court reserves its decision on Cardinal George Pell

The High Court is fast-tracking the Victorian case. Photo: AAP
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• Cardinal George Pell was released from prison on March 7, 2020 after the High Court quashed his five convictions for child sexual abuse.

The High Court of Australia has reserved its decision on whether it will overturn the convictions of Cardinal George Pell for child abuse.

The decision could take more than three months after the full bench of seven High Court justices heard two days of dense legal argument on Wednesday and Thursday.

Pell, now 78, was convicted in 2018 of the rape of one 13-year-old choirboy and sexual assault of another.

The first boy gave evidence against Pell and the second died in 2014.

George Pell is appealing against his conviction in the High Court.

Pell maintained his innocence through two trials – the first ending in a hung jury – and last year’s Victorian Court of Appeal hearing, which upheld the verdict in a 2-1 ruling.

Pell, who is one year into a six-year jail term handed down last year, is yet to be formally granted appeal by the High Court.

The court instead referred it “for argument”.

AAP court reporter Karen Sweeney tweeted that the justices had asked for more written submissions to be filed in two working days, but that their decision on whether to grant Pell’s special leave application “could be next week, could be months”.

(More to come)