Case against Cardinal Pell ‘did not make sense’

1120pell Cardinal George Pell (CNS/Erik Anderson Reuters)

Cardinal George Pell’s supporters are backing a review of the way Victoria Police and the Office of Public Prosecutions handled the ultimately failed pursuit of the cardinal. Source: The Australian.

By Tessa Akerman and John Ferguson, The Australian.

Terry Tobin QC said that if the High Court was right about the possibility of the offences not occurring, an innocent man had been sent to jail for 405 days in what was one of the biggest injustices in Australian criminal history.

He said that in the medical field, root-cause analysis of misadventures was conducted, and the same standard of accountability was needed for the force and the OPP after the case was thrown out 7-0.

“That is a very high cost in our liberal democracy,” he said.

Mr Tobin, who provided a character reference for Cardinal Pell, said there were aspects of the case against Cardinal Pell that did not make sense.

“The coppers and the Director of Public Prosecutions would be assisted, I think, by doing a root-cause analysis, by figuring out dispassionately … what happened in this case,” he said.

His comments come as some senior Catholics are backing defamation action by Cardinal Pell after his years-long ordeal over the 2017 sex abuse charges.

Senior lawyers also are urging the Victorian Government to legislate for the option of judge-only criminal trials in Victoria, like other states, particularly in the case of high-profile alleged offenders.

Mr Tobin said the High Court had spelled out the failings of the case and the police needed to look at why they didn’t pick up the holes in the evidence, such as by not interviewing other choristers and concelebrants who would have been in the procession when the second incident was alleged to have occurred.

“This is a sexual assault said to have happened with 40 people in procession,” Mr Tobin said. “This is pretty improbable.”

FULL STORY

Call for inquiry to discover what went wrong in George Pell case (The Australian)

RELATED COVERAGE

Victorian justice dubbed an ‘embarrassment’ after Pell ruling (Herald Sun)

Rule of law 'was not extended' to George Pell (Sky News Australia)

Daniel Andrews asks PM to reveal redacted Pell report in full (Sydney Morning Herald)

Did a judge's shaving routine save George Pell? (Australian Financial Review

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