FILE - This Sept. 9, 2018, file photo shows the facade of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne. Cardinal George Pell’s appeal against his convictions for child molestation was largely a question of who the jury should have believed, his accuser or a senior priest whose church role was likened to Pell’s bodyguard. Pell’s accuser was a 13-year-old choirboy when he alleged that he was abused by then-Melbourne Archbishop Pell at the city’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral in December 1996 and February 1997. (AP Photo/Rod McGuirk, File)

Cardinal Pell appeal verdict looms but may not be final word

August 20, 2019 - 12:13 am

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The most senior Catholic cleric found guilty of sexually abusing children will learn the outcome of his appeal Wednesday though the verdict may not be the final word on his convictions for molesting two choirboys in an Australian cathedral more than two decades ago.

The Victoria state Court of Appeal heard arguments in Cardinal George Pell's case in June. In recognition of the intense public interest, the court is livestreaming its judgment.

The former Vatican finance minister would walk free if the judges acquit him. They also could order a retrial, in which case Pell would be released on bail, or they could reject his appeal. It may go to the High Court, Australia's final arbiter.

Pell has been in prison since March when he was sentenced to six years.

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