Inquiry into prosecution of Pell should follow High Court ruling

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plain vanilla crimes... | Your DemocracyThe allegations of sexual abuse against Cardinal Pell were investigated by the Victorian Police, in particular by Taskforce SANO. This note gathers together some pertinent questions. In the wake of the Carl Beech case in the UK Sir Richard Henriques was asked to report on Operation Midland,[i] and I would urge that something of the order of a judge led inquiry is needed to understand Operation Tethering. This somewhat disordered list is written in the hope that one day we may get a comprehensive insight into what was going on.

1. Tethering. We begin with this get Pell operation (Robert Richter), or as Paul Sheridan termed it, the Intel Probe, set up in 2013.[ii] Clearly, that was before R had died (in 2014) and J had complained (in 2015). Apparently, it was the inspiration of Michael Dwyer.[iii] How did it come about? Here we would point out the association with Byline (Lucie Morris Marrs platform) and Exaro News who were so heavily involved in the Carl Beech case.[iv]

In our opinion, the Pell affair has been haunted by the ghost of Southwell,[v] the allegations of 2002 forming the remote conditions for the campaign against Pell. We would surmise, however, that the Beech case formed the more proximate conditions. In the wake of the lurid stories from Westminster it might have seemed that the time was ripe to pay Pell another visit. Just as the revelations about celebrity Jimmy Savile created a climate in which the bizarre allegations of Beech were deemed credible and true, so the abuses in Ballarat set the conditions for Dwyers hunch.

George Pell accuser dies before case gets to court

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Australian Catholic Cardinal Centre of Child Sexual Abuse Scandal ...One of the men who had accused Cardinal George Pell of sex offences has died, bringing into question whether some of the charges against Australia’s most senior Catholic can be heard in court.

Damian Dignan, who accused Cardinal George Pell of historic sex offences, died in Victoria on Saturday after a long illness.

The allegations of Mr Dignan prompted Victoria Police to reveal Cardinal Pell was under investigation by Taskforce Sano, investigating claims of sex abuse within Victorian churches.

Crown prosecutors pursuing a case against Cardinal Pell could consider changing the structure of their case and the way charges are grouped following Mr Dignan’s death, according to a top Victorian barrister.

“It’s not an unreasonable quote to say that prosecutors could have a more difficult task now, yes,” ­former chief Victorian magistrate and crown prosecutor Nicholas Papas told The Australian.

“Normally it requires that the person who has given evidence to be there, and so normally it would be the case that without them there, the prosecution can’t proceed ... but you can’t be absolutely sure.”

George Pell defenders are a 'third layer of power' that abuse survivors face

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The Remnant Newspaper - Cardinal Pell Update from AustraliaPoliticians and other powerful people defending convicted paedophile George Pell are a "third layer of power" survivors of child sex abuse have to contend with, says one expert.

Within hours of the Victoria Court of Appeal upholding Pell's conviction 2-1, News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt said he was "appalled" by the decision, and did not accept the findings of the court.

It has echoes of the powerful roll call of people who came out in defence of Pell after the suppression order on his conviction was lifted, which included Bolt, his News Corp colleague Miranda Devine, and former Prime Ministers Tony Abbott and John Howard. The latter wrote a character references for Pell declaring that "none of these matters alter my opinion of the cardinal."

Andrew Bolt says Cardinal George Pell either ‘lying’ or ‘dangerously indifferent’

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George Pell's lawyer apologises for 'plain vanilla' comment as new details emerge

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Stan Steam on Twitter: "A Right Royal Commission... @davpope ...Further details of George Pell's investigation have been released by Victorian courts as the cardinal faces his second night behind bars.

Cardinal George Pell's barrister has apologised for describing the acts of Pell's sexual assault of two 13-year-old choirboys as "plain, vanilla sexual penetration" in court.

Robert Richter QC's remarks, uttered during a plea hearing for Pell who is currently behind bars awaiting sentencing, garnered significant outrage online.

Dozens of journalists accused of breaching gag order on Pell

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George Pell's evidence demands broad responseMELBOURNE, Australia — An Australian state prosecutor has sent letters threatening to charge media organizations and dozens of journalists with breaching a gag order that banned reporting of Cardinal George Pell’s convictions on charges of sexually molesting two choirboys, lawyers said Thursday.

Reporting in any format accessible from Australia of details of the former Vatican economy chief’s convictions in a Melbourne court in December was banned by a judge’s suppression order that was only lifted this week.

Such suppression orders are commonplace in the Australian and British judicial systems, and breaches can result in jail terms. But the enormous international interest in a criminal trial with global ramifications has highlighted the difficulty in enforcing such orders in the digital world.

Cardinal Pell had ‘plain vanilla' sex with victim and that should mitigate prison sentence, lawyer says

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The Other Side of Sixty: Cartoon of the Week

MELBOURNE, Australia — The most senior Catholic cleric ever convicted of child sex abuse was sent to prison on Wednesday and will wait two weeks to learn his sentence for attacking two choirboys in a Melbourne cathedral two decades ago.

Victorian state County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd revoked Cardinal George Pell’s bail at the end of a sentencing hearing in a packed, standing room-only courtroom. Kidd said he would deliver his sentence on March 13.

The 77-year-old Pell, who could face 50 years in prison, showed no expression as he walked from the dock with a cane escorted by three court security officers and a prison guard. Pell paused at the door, turned to the judge and bowed.

He was taken by prison van from the court to the Melbourne Assessment Prison, a maximum security facility where inmates new to the state penal system are assessed. All prisoners are strip-searched on arrival and Pell, like all pedophiles, will be kept in protective custody, where he will remain alone for up to 23 hours a day.

A jury unanimously convicted Pell in December of abusing the two 13-year-olds in a rear room of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in 1996, weeks after becoming archbishop of Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city. But Pell wasn’t taken into custody immediately because he had surgery scheduled to have both knees replaced.

Pell’s lawyer Robert Richter had told the jury during the trial that “only a mad man” would take the risk of sexually abusing two boys in a cathedral room with the door open and people likely to wander in.

On Wednesday, Richter described the abuse as a “temporary loss of judgment” in response to an “irresistible impulse.”

George Pell’s defence torn to shreds by judges

Pell And Co And Australian Conservatism: Hypocrisy's Bastard ...George Pell loses appeal over child sexual abuse ruling

By a majority of two to one, Victoria’s Supreme Court dismissed Pell’s appeal ordering him to “return to prison”.
Cardinal George Pell has sensationally lost his appeal against child sex abuse convictions — and one of the judges has torn his defence to pieces.

Pell’s appeal against his child sex abuse convictions was dismissed by the Victorian Court of Appeal this morning by a majority of two to one.

Chief Justice Anne Ferguson and Court of Appeal President Chris Maxwell dismissed it, while Justice Mark Weinberg upheld the appeal.

The two judges agreed it “was open to the jury to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt Cardinal Pell was guilty as charged” and also dismissed the appeal on technical grounds.

The decision means Australia’s most prominent Catholic cleric will remain behind bars and continue to serve his six-year prison term.

Pell, 78, will be eligible for parole three years and eight months into his sentence, although he is also free to appeal the decision to dismiss his appeal in the High Court.

The Pell legacy: lessons for cops, courts and all those who serve God and justice

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Where does it leave the justice system if the highest court in the land says a jury isn't capable of working out what it should believe?

George Pell freed from prison after High Court quashes child sex abuse convictions

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Comments on the High Court judgment Pell v The Queen, from the Law Council of Australia President, Ms Pauline Wright

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All comments to be attributed to Law Council of Australia President, Ms Pauline Wright.

We are mindful that the High Court judgment in the matter of Pell v The Queen has caused significant media interest and community discussion. The Law Council respects the determination of the High Court in the matter of Pell v The Queen.

The High Court is the ultimate decision-maker within our judicial system in Australia and its job is to impartially scrutinise decisions made in lower courts to determine whether the law has been properly applied.

Judge rules ‘significant possibility’ Cardinal George Pell didn’t commit child sex offences

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By a majority of two to one, Victoria’s Supreme Court dismissed Pell’s appeal ordering him to “return to prison”.

Stephanie Bedonews.com.au
As Cardinal George Pell sat in court surrounded by his supporters, there was at least one man in the room on their side.

Justice Mark Weinberg was the only one to rule in the disgraced Catholic leader’s favour, finding the complainant’s account of his sexual abuse was “entirely implausible and quite unconvincing” and may have even been concocted.

Pell lost his bid for freedom from a six-year jail sentence when his appeal against child sex convictions was dismissed in court this morning.

By a majority of two to one, Victoria’s Supreme Court dismissed the appeal ordering Pell to “return to prison”.

In reading out the court’s conclusions for rejecting the appeal, Chief Justice Anne Ferguson outlined Justice Weinberg’s reasoning.

While she said she and Justice Chris Maxwell accepted the prosecution’s submission the complainant was a compelling witness and clearly not a liar, Judge Weinberg did not agree.

“In his dissenting judgment, the judge found that at times, the complainant was inclined to embellish aspects of his account,” she told the court this morning.

“He concluded that his evidence contained discrepancies, displayed inadequacies so as to cause him to have a doubt as to the applicant’s guilt.

“He could not exclude as a reasonable possibility that some of what the complainant said was concocted, particularly in relation to the second incident.”

RELATED: Judges tear apart Pell’s 13 excuses

RELATED: Cheering as Pell’s freedom bid rejected

undefinedJustice Mark Weinberg was in favour of George Pell’s appeal. Picture: Supreme Court of Victoria Source: AAPundefinedChief Justice Anne Ferguson read out the judges’ decision this morning. Picture: Supreme Court of Victoria Source: AAP

Pell was found guilty of raping one choirboy and molesting another in Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral 22 years ago.

Pell’s victims were two 13-year-old boys on scholarships to the prestigious St Kevin’s College.

The original court was told how the pair “nicked off” after a Sunday solemn mass in December 1996 and were caught swigging sacramental wine in the sacristy — a room at the rear of the cathedral used by priests to dress — by Pell, who was the newly installed Archbishop of Melbourne.

Pell scolded them and then proceeded to expose his penis from beneath his ceremonial robes before molesting them.

One of the victims, now in his 30s, brought the allegations to police after years of having struggled to understand what he’d experienced.

A month or so after Pell raped him, he was sexually assaulted by Pell again when he pushed him against a cathedral wall and fondled his genitalia.

undefinedJustice Chris Maxwell shared Justice Ferguson’s view. Picture: Supreme Court of Victoria Source: AAPundefinedPell arriving at court this morning. Picture: Erik Anderson/AAP Source: AAP

This morning Justice Ferguson said Justice Weinberg found the complainant’s account of the second incident was entirely implausible and quite unconvincing.

“Nevertheless, Justice Weinberg stated that in relation to the first incident, if the complainant’s evidence was the only evidence, he might well have found it difficult to say that the jury, acting reasonably, were bound to have a reasonable doubt about the Cardinal’s guilt,” she said.

“He went on to note, however, that there was more than just the complainant’s evidence.

“In Justice Weinberg’s view, there was significant and in some places impressive evidence

suggesting that the complainant’s account was, in a realistic sense, impossible to accept.”

She said the judge believed there was a “significant possibility” Pell may not have committed the offences.

“Justice Weinberg stated that in his view, the convictions could not stand,” she said.

“Nevertheless, the appeal on the unreasonableness ground has been dismissed because two of us took a different view of the facts.”

Source : https://amp.news.com.au/national/victoria/courts-law/judge-rules-significant-possibility-cardinal-george-pell-didnt-commit-child-sex-offences/news-story/063bbf4bdb10b367241144f665408147