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Australian Cardinal George Pell appears in court over child sex convictions



Australian Cardinal George Pell appears in court over child sex convictions

Australian Cardinal George Pell, has appeared in an Australian court for an appeal hearing against his convictions for child sexual abuse.

The 77-year-old was convicted in December on five counts of assaulting two choirboys in a Melbourne cathedral in 1996 and 1997. He was sentenced in March to six years in prison.

Pell’s lawyers say his conviction was unreasonably based on the testimony of a single surviving victim and that the judge unfairly disallowed defence evidence.

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According to Associated Press, the second victim died of a drug overdose in 2014 and never disclosed the abuse.

The hearing is scheduled to continue on Thursday before the three judges make a decision on his case, a process that could take several weeks.

Pell, a former Vatican treasurer and adviser to Pope Francis, is the highest-ranking Roman Catholic Church cleric worldwide to be convicted of child sex offences.

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