Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi reader, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Pell lawyer will remain on legal team, despite report he would quit

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By (CNA/EWTN)
3/6/2019 (2 months ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

Robert Richter, Cardinal George Pell's defense lawyer, said Tuesday that he has not quit the prelate's legal team. A Melbourne daily had earlier reported Richter will not be part of the appeals process.

Highlights

By (CNA/EWTN)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
3/6/2019 (2 months ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Pell lawyer, legal team, would quit


Melbourne, Australia, (CNA) - Richter told the AAP March 5, "I have not quit. I do not quit."

Pell, prefect emeritus of the Vatican's Secretariat for the Economy, was convicted in December on five counts of sexual abuse stemming from charges that he sexually assaulted two choirboys while serving as Archbishop of Melbourne in 1996. He has maintained his innocence, is appealing his conviction.

It was the cardinal's second trial, as a jury in an earlier trial had failed to reach a unanimous verdict. The first jury were deadlocked 10-2 in Pell's favor.

At a pre-trial hearing, Richter had noted that Victoria Police had launched an investigation of Pell in 2013, searching for complainants, calling it "an operation looking for a crime because no crime had been reported."

Though he will remain on Pell's legal team, Richter will not be leading it through the appeal.

Paul Galbally, Pell's solicitor, said that "In these particular circumstances, Richter questions whether he has sufficient objectivity at this stage to take the appeal forward himself."

He added that "As Cardinal Pell is well aware, Richter is still very much part of the legal team and will be involved right through to the end."

Pell's appeal will by led by barrister Bret Walker SC, who will be assisted by Richter, Galbally, and Ruth Shann, Richter's junior barrister.

The Age had reported earlier March 5 that Richter "felt he did not have 'sufficient objectivity at this stage' to participate in the challenge set to be heard in Victoria's Court of Appeal."

He told the Melbourne outlet, "I am very angry about the verdict, because it was perverse", and that Pell would be "better served by someone more detached".

"I think the man is an innocent man and he's been convicted. It's not a common experience," Richter said.

According to The Age, Pell's appeal will be made on three points: the jury's reliance on the evidence of a single victim, an irregularity that kept Pel from entering his not guilty plea in front of the jury, and the defense not being allowed to show a visual representation supporting his claim of innocence.

The appeal document, The Age reported, says that "the verdicts are unreasonable and cannot be supported, having regard to the evidence, because on the whole of the evidence, including unchallenged exculpatory evidence from more than 20 Crown witnesses, it was not open to the jury to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt on the word of the complainant alone."

The news of Pell's conviction has met with varied reactions.  While many figures in Australian media have applauded Pell's conviction, some Australians have called it into question, prompting considerable debate across the country.

Greg Craven, vice-chancellor of the Australian Catholic University, suggested that the justice process was tainted by media and police forces that had worked "to blacken the name" of Pell "before he went to trial."

"This is not a story about whether a jury got it right or wrong, or about whether justice is seen to prevail," Craven said in a Feb. 27 opinion piece in The Australian. "It's a story about whether a jury was ever given a fair chance to make a decision, and whether our justice system can be heard above a media mob."

Speaking on an Australian television program March 4, Australian Labor senator Kristina Keneally said those criticizing the verdict were "doing a disservice to our democratic jury system," adding, "I think it's disrespectful of the jury verdict ... I would also reflect it's quite disrespectful of victims."

A university employees' union representative at the ACU wrote to the school's chancellor saying staff "have expressed dismay or repugnance" at Craven's actions.

Dr. Leah Kaufmann, a senior lecturer in psychology, wrote that Craven's questioning of the verdict "shows a disregard" for concerns regarding child safeguarding and "supporting survivors of sexual abuse."

On this basis Kaufmann asked that Craven be sanctioned, charging him with "lack of consideration of victims."

She also asked that the Pell Centre at the school's Ballarat campus be renamed, and that his portrait be removed from a location at the North Sydney campus.

The Australian reported that an ACU spokeswoman responded that the school respects employees' rights to comment as a matter of intellectual freedom, saying Craven "made comment on the trial as a constitutional lawyer and former Victorian Crown Counsel."

Pell is incarcerated at the Melbourne Assessment Prison while he awaits the results of a sentencing hearing, which will be announced March 13.


Comments


More Americas

MS-13 gang member suspected in Salvadoran priest's death Watch

Image of

A priest has been shot and killed by a suspected gang member in El Salvador, Vatican News reported Sunday. His funeral was held today in ... continue reading


As Australian Catholic school abandons tests and grades, critics are concerned Watch

Image of

A Catholic school in west Sydney has done away with grades, class levels, and tests to promote a more personalized school experience - but ... continue reading



Ontario court: Doctors must refer patients for abortion, assisted suicide Watch

Image of

Ontario's highest court has ruled that doctors who object to procedures such as abortion and assisted suicide must refer patients to ... continue reading


50 Years of Abortion: Where does Canada go from here? Watch

Image of

On May 14, 2019, abortion will have been legal in Canada for half a century. Since it became legal, approximately six million Canadians ... continue reading


Mexican bishops ask government to assist in migrant crisis Watch

Image of

The Mexican Bishops' Conference has made a public request for help from the country's authorities, as well as all people of good will, in ... continue reading


FREE Catholic Classes Pick a class, you can learn anything

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.