Cardinal George Pell © Robert Duncan (CBA)
In the case of abuse allegations against Curia Cardinal George Pell, a witness has made new accusations against the Vatican's chief financial officer. The witness had incriminated Pell in another statement to Melbourne police.
Neither the new allegations have been made public, however, nor are the details of the previous "multiple accuser" allegations known. This was reported by Australian media on Tuesday.
One of the charges was withdrawn
Robert Richter, the 76-year-old Pell's lawyer, had asked in Melbourne court on Tuesday that the new allegations should not be the subject of the ongoing hearing – regardless of whether charges are brought or not, media quoted the lawyer as saying.
The hearing to decide whether to open the main proceedings against Pell had begun on 5. March started. Just a few days earlier, the proceedings already took a surprising turn when prosecutors withdrew one of the charges against Pell following the death from cancer of a key witness. Up to 50 witnesses will testify in court and be cross-examined by Pell's defense during the hearing, which will last several weeks.
Allegations of abuse
Cardinal Pell is accused of sexually abusing young men. Neither the exact number of complaints nor their details have been made public yet. The incidents allegedly occurred in the 1970s at a swimming pool in Pell's hometown of Ballarat, where Pell was a priest at the time, according to Australian media.
At the arraignment of the former Melbourne archbishop in June 2017, the Australian Bishops' Conference ied a statement recalling the legal principle of presumption of innocence and warning against pre-judging Pell. Pell rejects the allegations as "absolutely false and baseless". For the duration of the proceedings, in which Pell will personally participate, the prelate will rest his post as the Vatican's chief financial administrator.