Cardinal Pell to stand trial after pleading not guilty


Cardinal George Pell will stand trial on historical sex charges. Australia’s most senior Catholic and Vatican Treasurer formally pleaded not guilty.

Madeline Escobar reports.

TRANSCRIPT

Cardinal Pell arrived at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court to predictably chaotic scenes.

There was heavy police presence as he navigated protesters and supporters.

Magistrate Belinda Wallington found there was sufficient evidence for Pell to be committed for trial on multiple charges involving multiple complainants.

The most serious allegations, however, were thrown out.

The only reaction from the Church so far has been from the Archbishop of Melbourne who expressed his confidence in the judicial system in Australia and that justice must now take its course.

76-year-old Pell was in court to hear the decision.

Cardinal Pell, the most senior Catholic to be charged with sex offences and the church’s third most senior official, said in a loud, clear voice “not guilty”.

The cardinal has consistently denied any wrongdoing but today was the first time he was required to enter a formal plea.

A trial is not expected to start for months.

Madeline Escobar, QUT News.