Convicted Cardinal Pell won't appeal child sex abuse sentence

Canberra (dpa) - Jailed Australian Cardinal George Pell will not seek a reduced sentence if he loses an appeal against his conviction for sexually abusing two choirboys in a Melbourne cathedral in the mid-1990s, news agency AAP reported Monday.

The 77-year-old former Vatican treasurer and one-time close adviser to Pope Francis was sentenced in March to a maximum of six years in prison after being convicted by a jury in December. 
Pell's lawyers have filed an application for appeal against the conviction, which will be heard in a Melbourne court next week. AAP reported Monday that Pell's lawyers will not be adding an appeal against his sentence. 
His lawyers are arguing the conviction should either be overturned or the case retried on three grounds. One is a "fundamental irregularity in the trial process" that prevented Pell from entering a not guilty plea in front of his jury as he was "not arraigned."
A video likened to a "Pac-Man" computer game that was not allowed to be shown to jurors during the closing arguments was a mistake by the judge, is another argument.
Thirdly, the reliance on just one victim's evidence has been pointed out, suggesting the verdicts are "unreasonable" because the jury could not have been satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt on the word of a single surviving complainant.
Three judges will decide if Pell should be granted leave to appeal on June 5. If they agree, the appeal will be heard over two days. 
Pell is the highest-ranking Catholic to be convicted of child sexual abuse. The Vatican has launched its own investigation into his conviction.

Monday, May 27th 2019

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