I continued my prayers and fasting today for the outcome of Cardinal George Pell’s appeal against his conviction of five assault charges against two choirboys.
The prosecution had its day in court today. The Daily Telegraph reports:
[Prosecution lawyer] Mr Boyce started with little fanfare, but immediately jumped to defend the integrity of the complainant who has come under attack from Pell’s legal team.
He said the man was a compelling witness, who was truthful and factual.
Court of Appeal president Justice Chris Maxwell said the court would have to consider submissions that the man was a liar and a fantasist.
The entirety of the man’s evidence, which was given in private, was given in a closed court and has never been made public.
Mr Boyce described the testimony as moving.
Earlier today the Catholic priest was driven in a van into the grounds of the Supreme Court to continue his bid for freedom.
The Court of Appeal heard from Pell’s defence team yesterday which is trying to get the 77-year-old acquitted of five charges.
He’s serving a minimum three years and eight months behind bars after being sentenced to up to six years in prison in March.
Barrister Bret Walker SC told the court in the first day of the appeal application and hearing that it was “impossible” for Pell to have abused the boys at St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1996, and have molested one of them again in early 1997.
The jury’s verdicts were “unsafe and unsatisfactory” on the basis of evidence from one surviving complainant in the face of exculpatory evidence from 20 others called by prosecutors, he said.
Among the evidence was an alibi in Pell’s practice of greeting parishioners outside the cathedral after mass.
Now that both sides have presented their evidence to the Supreme Court justices, my understanding is that they will now deliberate before reaching a decision.
I hope and pray it’s the right one.