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George Pell makes last-ditch bid for freedom as he applies for bail until his appeal

1996

– Pell appointed Archbishop of Melbourne by Pope John Paul II

– Pell sexually abuses two 13-year-old choirboys after a Sunday solemn mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral

– A second indecent act is committed by Pell against one of the choirboys in a corridor at the Cathedral.

2016

– The Herald Sun reports Pell is being investigated by Victoria Police’s Sano taskforce for ‘multiple offences’ committed while he was a priest in Ballarat and Archbishop of Melbourne

– Pell says the allegations are ‘without foundation and utterly false’ and calls for an inquiry into how the police investigation became public

– Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton asks the anti-corruption watchdog to investigate the leak, but denies it came from police

Cardinal George Pell, 77, is known as the Vatican’s treasurer and had been granted a leave of absence while facing trial over child sex offences in Australia. He has surrendered his passport

– Pell gives evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s inquiry into abuse in Ballarat

– Under Vatican rules, Pell gives Pope Francis his resignation on his 75th birthday, as is customary. It is not accepted

– Victoria Police investigators hand over to the state’s Office of Public Prosecutions a brief of evidence on allegations of sexual abuse by Pell

– Officers travel to Rome to interview Pell over the abuse claims. He voluntarily participates in the interview.

2017

– Police present their final brief of evidence to the Office of Public Prosecutions to consider charges

– Prosecutors give police the green light to charge Pell.

JUNE 2017

– Pell is charged with multiple counts of historic child sex offences

– He denies the charges and vows to clear his name

– Lawyers for Pell appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court

– Pell takes leave from his Vatican finance chief role to fight the charges.

JULY 2017

– Pell returns to Australia

– He hires top barrister Robert Richter QC

– Supporters set up a fund to help Pell fight the charges.

MARCH 2018

– Prosecutors drop one of the charges against Pell

– A month-long committal hearing begins to determine if Pell will face trial

– Prosecutors withdraw more charges

– Mr Richter claims police conducted a ‘get Pell operation’ and accuses magistrate Belinda Wallington of bias. She refuses to disqualify herself from the case.

MAY 2018

– Magistrate Belinda Wallington orders Pell stand trial on some charges, but throws out others

– Pell formally pleads ‘not guilty’

– Two trials are ordered, separating the 1970s and 1990s allegations

– A Victorian County Court employee is sacked for looking up information on the Pell case.

AUGUST 2018

– The 1990s ‘cathedral trial’ begins in the Victorian County Court in Melbourne

– Pell pleads not guilty again to one charge of sexual penetration of a child under 16 and four of indecent acts with a child, over incidents involving two 13-year-old choirboys at St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1996.

SEPTEMBER 2018

– The jury is discharged, unable to reach a verdict following a week of deliberation. Some jurors weep.

NOVEMBER 2018

– A retrial begins. The jury aren’t told of the previous hung jury.

DECEMBER 2018

– Pell is found guilty on all charges by an unanimous jury

– Mr Richter says Pell will appeal

– Suppression orders prevent Australian media reporting the verdict but it spreads through international media within hours.

FEBRUARY 2019

– Hearings begin ahead of the second trial. Prosecutors drop another charge

– An appeal is filed against the cathedral trial conviction

– A County Court judge deems vital evidence inadmissible

– Prosecutors withdraw all remaining charges against Pell and drop a second trial over allegations Pell indecently assaulted boys in Ballarat in the 1970s when he was a parish priest

– Pell is due to be taken into custody on Wednesday February 27 as the plea hearing begins.

MARCH 2019

– Pell is due to be sentenced by County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd.

Australian Associated Press 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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