Pell de­fence wants to scrap case

The Daily Examiner - - NATION -

CAR­DI­NAL Ge­orge Pell’s le­gal team has ar­gued the case against him should be thrown out of court and he should not stand trial on his­tor­i­cal sex­ual of­fence charges.

De­fence bar­ris­ter Robert Richter QC yes­ter­day called for charges against Aus­tralia’s most se­nior Catholic to be dis­charged.

The most se­ri­ous com­plaints should be re­garded as im­pos­si­ble “and ought to be dis­charged with­out bat­ting an eye­lid”, Mr Richter told mag­is­trate Belinda Walling­ton, who will de­cide if Pell stands trial.

Mr Richter said the other charges should also be ex­pelled be­cause of prob­lems with com­plainants’ cred­i­bil­ity.

But Ms Walling­ton said is­sues of cred­i­bil­ity and re­li­a­bil­ity were for a jury to de­cide, “ex­cept when you get to the point where cred­i­bil­ity is ef­fec­tively an­ni­hi­lated”.

“As close enough to an­ni­hi­la­tion that it would be a waste of pub­lic money, time and ef­fort to put the man on trial,” Mr Richter replied.

Pell, 76, was ex­cused from at­tend­ing Mel­bourne Mag­is­trates Court yes­ter­day for le­gal ar­gu­ments fol­low­ing a four­week pre-trial com­mit­tal hear­ing in March.

Pell de­nies the charges.

Pic­ture: AFP Car­di­nal Ge­orge Pell ar­rives un­der po­lice pro­tec­tion for a hear­ing at the Mel­bourne Mag­is­trates Court in March.

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