The high court of Australia will release from-under guards of the cardinal, who was convicted last year for pedophilia
Alex Proimos / wikimedia.org
The high court of Australia allowed the appeal of cardinal Pell, who was convicted in March last year for violent actions against children, and released him from custody. It is stated in the court decision published on Tuesday.
“The high court of Australia unanimously allowed the appeal and ruled that all the decisions [on the matter] should be abolished, and instead handed down a guilty verdict must be an acquittal,” – stated in the judgment (quoted by TASS).
In its resolution, the Supreme court noted that after reviewing all documents and evidence in the case “remained a reasonable doubt that the crime was committed,” and the fault of the cardinal was not proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Also the judges pointed out that in the course of the trial, the prosecution was unable to explain a number of contradictions in the testimony of witnesses that should be interpreted in favor of the accused.
It is reported that after the decision of the Supreme court’s 78-year-old Pell will be immediately released from prison Baroan, where he was detained since the guilty verdict in the city court in Melbourne in March 2019.
The appeal, filed in January 2020 in the high court of Australia, was the last opportunity to review the sentence imposed by the cardinal. In accordance with him, Pell should spend in prison for six years with the possibility of parole no earlier than three years and eight months. In his appeal to the Supreme court the lawyers of the cardinal asked to overturn the conviction because “there is reasonable doubt that their client had the opportunity to commit a crime” in which he was convicted.
For the first time Pell has faced allegations of pedophilia in 2012 . A former pupil of the Catholic youth camp argued that Pell, who was then a seminarian, was molested by him. The judge hired by the Church to investigate, came to the conclusion that the applicant honestly describes his memories. However, a guilty verdict was not rendered due to the lack of objective evidence of the crime.
In December 2018, the jury in Melbourne was recognized Pella guilty of sexually abusing two minors in the 1990-ies. Until 2014, the cardinal was Archbishop of Melbourne and Sydney, after which he entered the service of the Vatican, where he became head of the Secretariat of economic Affairs of the Holy see. In 2017, the cardinal has taken a leave of absence and returned to Australia to appear in court and prove his innocence. After the announcement of the verdict of the jury, the Holy see has declared that Pell was dismissed.