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George Pell sexual abuse trials and fresh investigation

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Culprit Cancer



Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Port Melbourne

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 5:25 am
Post subject: George Pell sexual abuse trials and fresh investigationReply with quote

Suppression orders in Victoria prevent this person being named. Jury unanimously found them Guilty. If you do a google search you will find out who it is.
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stui magpie Gemini

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Joined: 03 May 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 5:59 am
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Didn't take much to find. The suppression orders prevent them being named in Australian media, but not overseas,
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David Libra

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Joined: 27 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:01 am
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Thanks Culprit! I’m not really sure that there’s much else to say until the suppression order is lifted (and I have to admit I don’t quite understand why it’s still in place), so locking this thread until then.

Edit: Here's an article on why the suppression order remains in place, along with further information about the case – thanks to Stui for alerting me to this:

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/why-the-media-is-unable-to-report-on-a-case-that-has-generated-huge-interest-online-20181212-p50lta.html

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David Libra

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Joined: 27 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:09 pm
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I doubt there was a single person in Australia who didn't know this by now (which perhaps indicates the pointlessness of suppression orders in this day and age), but it's now able to be reported that Pell has been found guilty of sexually abusing two boys.

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/cardinal-george-pell-found-guilty-of-child-sex-abuse-20181214-p50m86.html

I wouldn't usually call into question court findings, but after a long conversation with someone who attended all of the hearings in the days after the verdict was handed down, I do have serious doubts about whether the jury came to the right result here. Just to consider a few factors, a) there were no witnesses to any of the events claimed, and several whose claims clashed with fundamental aspects of the first victim's testimony; b) the second alleged victim died years ago, never claimed to have been abused and denied it when questioned; c) the first jury was suspended and a retrial had to be held because jurors couldn't agree on a verdict, which at least shows how difficult this case was to assess; d) Pell was found guilty on all charges, including ones relating solely to the deceased alleged victim; and e) the predictable social media commentary today – start with "rot in hell" and allow your imagination to proceed from there – shows just how much hate there already was for George Pell in the broader community (some of it arguably justified due to his role in covering up other sexual abuse claims), and how unlikely it must have been that a jury could have ever reached an unbiased verdict. Still, from what I've heard, journalists who'd spent months covering the case and hearing the testimony were audibly shocked by the guilty verdict, as there had been a prevailing sentiment there that presumption of innocence and the lack of clear evidence, along with issues with the plaintiff's testimony, would have been enough to get him off.

Regardless of where one stands on all that, what's inevitable now, I would think, is that there will be an appeal. The question is: if Pell wins (as he may well), will anyone accept it? Or have they already decided he's guilty, and nothing could possibly convince them otherwise?

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K 



Joined: 09 Sep 2011


PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:49 pm
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David, what was the reason for your associate attending everything?

Being totally unrealistic, what do you think the best possible jury would be made of? Twelve people shipped in from Scandinavia? Or from somewhere where they've never heard of the Catholic Church?
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David Libra

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Joined: 27 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:04 pm
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I don't know, K – it's a really difficult question in high-profile cases like these. Maybe there need to be instances where cases are just heard and decided by judges alone, or a panel of judges (as at the High Court)? Unfortunately, I expect you'd have to radically overhaul the existing legal system, and that's not going to happen.

(As for your second question, they were there in a professional capacity – that's all I'll say.)

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HAL 

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Joined: 17 Mar 2003


PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:06 pm
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Oh. No one else expects you'd have to radically overhaul the existing legal system and that's not going to happen.
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K 



Joined: 09 Sep 2011


PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:23 pm
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I guess this discusses some of the things you allude to:

https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article/truth-and-justice-after-the-pell-verdict
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David Libra

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:37 pm
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Thanks for the link, K. Very interesting, and backs up what I was told. But I didn’t know about this:

Quote:
The complainant, who cannot be identified, did not give evidence at the retrial; the recording from the first trial was admitted as the complainant's evidence. The recording was available to the public only insofar as it was quoted by the barristers in their examination of other witnesses or in their final addresses to the jury, and by the judge in his charge to the jury. So, no member of the public has a complete picture of the evidence and no member of the public is able to make an assessment of the complainant's demeanour.


WTF? That’s extraordinary.

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Jezza Taurus



Joined: 05 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:02 pm
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David wrote:
I doubt there was a single person in Australia who didn't know this by now (which perhaps indicates the pointlessness of suppression orders in this day and age), but it's now able to be reported that Pell has been found guilty of sexually abusing two boys.

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/cardinal-george-pell-found-guilty-of-child-sex-abuse-20181214-p50m86.html

I wouldn't usually call into question court findings, but after a long conversation with someone who attended all of the hearings in the days after the verdict was handed down, I do have serious doubts about whether the jury came to the right result here. Just to consider a few factors, a) there were no witnesses to any of the events claimed, and several whose claims clashed with fundamental aspects of the first victim's testimony; b) the second alleged victim died years ago, never claimed to have been abused and denied it when questioned; c) the first jury was suspended and a retrial had to be held because jurors couldn't agree on a verdict, which at least shows how difficult this case was to assess; d) Pell was found guilty on all charges, including ones relating solely to the deceased alleged victim; and e) the predictable social media commentary today – start with "rot in hell" and allow your imagination to proceed from there – shows just how much hate there already was for George Pell in the broader community (some of it arguably justified due to his role in covering up other sexual abuse claims), and how unlikely it must have been that a jury could have ever reached an unbiased verdict. Still, from what I've heard, journalists who'd spent months covering the case and hearing the testimony were audibly shocked by the guilty verdict, as there had been a prevailing sentiment there that presumption of innocence and the lack of clear evidence, along with issues with the plaintiff's testimony, would have been enough to get him off.

Regardless of where one stands on all that, what's inevitable now, I would think, is that there will be an appeal. The question is: if Pell wins (as he may well), will anyone accept it? Or have they already decided he's guilty, and nothing could possibly convince them otherwise?

Interesting assessment of the case, David. Thanks for that.

Would love to access the full judgment of the case. Can't find anything on Austlli or any other legal databases at the moment.

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Culprit Cancer



Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Port Melbourne

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:11 pm
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The suppression orders wee a joke. They can't punish him enough and I doubt it will be jail. In saying that he's being removed from everything and his name is *hit.
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K 



Joined: 09 Sep 2011


PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:13 pm
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Jezza wrote:
...
Would love to access the full judgment of the case. Can't find anything on Austlli or any other legal databases at the moment.

P4S's homework. (Are they usually available while an appeal is in process?)


From the media:
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/the-case-for-and-against-what-the-jury-was-told-in-george-pell-s-trial-20190226-p510f6.html
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David Libra

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:29 pm
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Thanks K, that seems like a good run-down.

Even with a verdict, I don’t think we can conclusively say that we’ll ever know for sure whether Pell is guilty or innocent. What strikes me about this is that most of the debate seems to have revolved around whether Pell even could have committed the acts alleged. Even if the jury were ultimately convinced that it was possible, that shouldn’t be sufficient for a guilty verdict, should it? And what does it actually mean for defendants to have a presumption of innocence, considering the outcome of this case?

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Last edited by David on Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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think positive Libra

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:30 pm
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Culprit wrote:
The suppression orders wee a joke. They can't punish him enough and I doubt it will be jail. In saying that he's being removed from everything and his name is *hit.
yeah I guess I should care if he’s been found guilty and isn’t guilty of this particular charge, but I don’t. He’s certainly guilty if cover ups and children have certainly suffered because of his actions, indirectly or directly so yeah, I don’t care.
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stui magpie Gemini

Oh, the Premiership's a cakewalk


Joined: 03 May 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:01 pm
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David wrote:
I doubt there was a single person in Australia who didn't know this by now (which perhaps indicates the pointlessness of suppression orders in this day and age), but it's now able to be reported that Pell has been found guilty of sexually abusing two boys.

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/cardinal-george-pell-found-guilty-of-child-sex-abuse-20181214-p50m86.html

I wouldn't usually call into question court findings, but after a long conversation with someone who attended all of the hearings in the days after the verdict was handed down, I do have serious doubts about whether the jury came to the right result here. Just to consider a few factors, a) there were no witnesses to any of the events claimed, and several whose claims clashed with fundamental aspects of the first victim's testimony; b) the second alleged victim died years ago, never claimed to have been abused and denied it when questioned; c) the first jury was suspended and a retrial had to be held because jurors couldn't agree on a verdict, which at least shows how difficult this case was to assess; d) Pell was found guilty on all charges, including ones relating solely to the deceased alleged victim; and e) the predictable social media commentary today – start with "rot in hell" and allow your imagination to proceed from there – shows just how much hate there already was for George Pell in the broader community (some of it arguably justified due to his role in covering up other sexual abuse claims), and how unlikely it must have been that a jury could have ever reached an unbiased verdict. Still, from what I've heard, journalists who'd spent months covering the case and hearing the testimony were audibly shocked by the guilty verdict, as there had been a prevailing sentiment there that presumption of innocence and the lack of clear evidence, along with issues with the plaintiff's testimony, would have been enough to get him off.

Regardless of where one stands on all that, what's inevitable now, I would think, is that there will be an appeal. The question is: if Pell wins (as he may well), will anyone accept it? Or have they already decided he's guilty, and nothing could possibly convince them otherwise?


Here's one for the record books, you and Andrew Bolt in agreement.
https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/andrew-bolt/andrew-bolt-why-pell-has-been-falsely-convicted/news-story/60da7b90f8035ca52c748d6c59fb730a

Much to the disgust of Clementine Ford.

I'd also heard the comments that people in attendance during the trial were stunned he was convicted, which does raise the spectre of jury bias.

When our current legal system of trial by jury was put in place, not only was the amount of media miniscule compared to today but a fair proportion of the population was illiterate. whether or not those jurors decided on the merits of the case or not, there almost a zero chance they did not have a pre conceived opinion on Pell and his guilt or innocence.

There's a high probability that Pell has been convicted as a symbol of the Catholic Church and it's servants misdeeds rather than the facts of the case, but even if he was found innocent on appeal would that cause more harm than good? The people who are convinced he's guilty won't be swayed.

In a way, if he is innocent, it's almost a metaphor. A devout servant of the church put to death (metaphorically) for others sins.

Sth Africa is a country that does trials by Judge alone, no Jury, in line with Dutch Law rather than English I believe. Maybe in this information age, with social medai rampant and people prone to form lasting opinions on snippets of information that conform to their ideals and views, that's worth considering.

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