Pell defence wants to scrap case
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.
Cardinal George Pell arrives under police protection for a hearing at the Melbourne Magistrates Court in March.