Cardinal George Pell is seen in Melbourne. Picture: David Crosling/AAP
Cardinal George Pell is seen in Melbourne. Picture: David Crosling/AAP

Why we couldn’t report the George Pell story

FOR months, journalists in Australia were not allowed to report one of the biggest stories in the world.

That story has now been revealed: Cardinal George Pell was found guilty of multiple child sex offences in December last year.

Pell is the most senior Catholic cleric in the world to be convicted of such offences and the case was reported in many international news outlets.

Australian media were not able to report on the decision because Cardinal Pell was also due to face charges at a second trial in early 2019, related to alleged abuse committed in Ballarat, reportedly at a swimming pool.

A suppression order was put in place because publication of the first conviction could prejudice the second case.

Cardinal George Pell has been convicted of multiple child sex offences. Picture: James Ross/AAP
Cardinal George Pell has been convicted of multiple child sex offences. Picture: James Ross/AAP

It was argued Pell might not get a fair trial if media coverage of the first guilty verdict was published, especially because the trials were expected to run close together and so the publicity would still be fresh in people;s minds.

But today prosecutors dropped the second trial because County Court chief judge Peter Kidd ruled that certain evidence considered crucial to the case would be excluded, the Herald Sun reported.

Pell still has to be sentenced but is facing a significant jail term.


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