Australian justice in the dock

Denver Catholic | 9/11/2019 | Staff
EGFZE (Posted by) Level 3
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Consider this sequence of events, familiar to some but evidently not to others:

March 2013: Prior to any credible reports of misbehavior being made against Cardinal George Pell, police in Australia’s state of Victoria launch “Operation Tethering,” a sting aimed at the former archbishop of Melbourne (who by this time is prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the economy. “Tethering” includes newspaper ads seeking information on previously unreported, untoward goings-on at the Melbourne cathedral in the past.

Office - Public - Prosecutions - Melbourne - Operation

Early 2017: The office of Public Prosecutions in Melbourne twice returns a brief to those who mounted “Operation Tethering,” criticizing the Victoria Police brief as inadequate for a prosecution.

June 2017: Charges of “historic sexual abuse” from 20 years prior are announced by the Director of Public Prosecutions and Pell is ordered home. The cardinal vehemently denies any misconduct and, despite his Vatican diplomatic immunity, immediately returns to Australia to defend his honor and that of the Church.

May - Hearing - Magistrate - Charges - Pell

May 2018: At the “committal hearing,” a magistrate dismisses several charges against Pell but sends others to trial, saying that, whatever their arguable plausibility, they should be aired publicly in a criminal court. Meanwhile, a vicious, lynch-mob atmosphere continues to surround Cardinal Pell, in public and in much of the Australian media.

September 2018: At the trial, the prosecution presents no corroborating evidence that the alleged crimes ever took place; the prosecution’s case is the tale told by the complainant, who only appears on videotape. Numerous witnesses for the defense testify that the alleged acts of abuse could not have happened in a secured area of a busy cathedral immediately after Sunday Mass, with then-Archbishop Pell fully vested and surrounded by liturgical ministers, in the time-frame alleged. After several days of deliberation, the trial judge tells the jury that he will accept an 11-1 verdict, if one juror is blocking...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Denver Catholic
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