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Australian High Court to issue Cardinal Pell decision next week

The High Court of Australia will hand down its decision in the case of Cardinal George Pell next week. The justices are considering Cardinal Pell’s petition for special leave to appeal his 2018 conviction for sexual abuse.

The court announced Thursday that a decision would be issued by the seven justices in the case Pell v. The Crown on April 7 at 10 am. By the time the decision is handed down, the bench will have considered the cardinal’s case for just over three weeks, after hearing two days of arguments in the case last month.

Pell is seeking to appeal the 2-1 split decision of the Court of Appeal in Victoria to sustain his 2018 conviction on five counts of child sexual abuse over two separate instances.

The High Court heard arguments from Pell’s legal team and from state prosecutors March 11-12, after which the justices reserved judgment.

At issue in the appeal is whether the jury that convicted Pell in December 2018 of sexually abusing two choristers could have plausibly found Pell guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, after having heard the case presented by the prosecutors and the defense mounted by Pell’s lawyers.

The High Court could quash the guilty verdict against Pell, uphold it, or send the case back to the Victoria appellate court which upheld the conviction last year.

Read more at Catholic News Agency

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