MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Vatican Treasurer George Pell’s lawyer informed a courtroom on Tuesday the Australian archbishop shouldn’t be despatched to trial on any of the a number of expenses of historic sexual offences towards him.
In a ultimate submission to the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court docket following a month of pre-trial hearings, Pell’s lawyer Robert Richter mentioned “public money and time ought to not be wasted” on a trial. Proof confirmed the worst of the alleged offences couldn’t have occurred, he mentioned.
“To the extent that it’s potential to show something, their complaints must be thought to be unattainable and must be discharged with out batting an eyelid,” Richter informed the courtroom.
Justice of the Peace Belinda Wallington will hand down her choice on whether or not to ship Pell to trial on Might 1.
Pell, 76, was not current in courtroom on Tuesday. He’s the best rating Catholic worldwide to face such expenses, the main points of which haven’t been made public.
His attorneys have mentioned he’ll plead not responsible to all expenses. He’s not required to enter a plea except the Justice of the Peace determines there’s trigger for a full trial.
Richter mentioned the details round dates of occasions and the whereabouts of the one who had made essentially the most critical accusations, together with an alleged offense at a movie show, confirmed the offences couldn’t have occurred.
“He’s simply not an individual that may be believed by a jury. That’s fairly aside from the improbability of his account on the cinema,” Richter mentioned.
He mentioned the opposite expenses had been “fairly insignificant” and shouldn’t be grounds to commit Pell to trial because the accusers tied to them had made inconsistent statements and had been unreliable.
Wallington performed down the affect that that argument would have on her choice.
“I believe problems with credibility and reliability are points for a jury, besides the place you get to the purpose the place credibility is annihilated,” she mentioned.
On the latest alleged offences, relationship again 22 years, Richter mentioned the accuser had focused Pell as a part of a broader agenda towards the Catholic Church, a rivalry prosecutor Mark Gibson mentioned was pure hypothesis.
“The allegations are the product of fantasy, the product of some psychological issues that the complainant might or might not have, or simply pure invention as a way to punish the consultant of the Catholic church on this nation for not stopping abuse…,” Richter mentioned.
He urged Wallington to keep in mind that Pell voluntarily returned to Australia from the Vatican to face the costs, slightly than utilizing the diplomatic immunity to which he was entitled. However Wallington mentioned the purpose was irrelevant.
“The cardinal got here to this courtroom an harmless man,” Richter mentioned. “What’s sought here’s a destruction of a fame by having the cardinal dedicated within the hope that an unreasonable jury would possibly convict him on one thing.”
Prosecutor Gibson mentioned not one of the complainants had resiled from their allegations towards Pell underneath cross-examination.
“What your honor has heard up to now actually quantities to a battle within the proof, which must be determined by a jury slightly than by your honor,” Gibson informed the courtroom.
Reporting by Sonali Paul; Enhancing by Michael Perry and Neil Fullick