August 15, 2019 / 12:09 AM / 10 days ago

Australian court to rule on ex-Vatican treasurer Pell's child sex offense appeal next week

FILE PHOTO: Vatican Treasurer Cardinal George Pell is surrounded by Australian police as he leaves the Melbourne Magistrates Court in Australia, October 6, 2017. REUTERS/Mark Dadswell

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - An Australian court will rule on the appeal of jailed former Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell’s child sex convictions next week, the court said on Thursday.

The decision by three judges will be delivered in Melbourne at 9:30 am on Aug. 21 (2330 GMT Aug. 20). Supreme Court of Victoria Chief Justice Anne Ferguson will read out a summary of the court’s conclusion, which will be live-streamed, the court said.

Pell, 78, was sentenced in March to six years in prison after a jury found him guilty of five sexual offences against two choirboys at St Patrick’s Cathedral in the late 1990s, when he was archbishop of Melbourne.

He sought to overturn his conviction on three grounds: the jury’s verdict was unreasonable, the judge erred in not allowing the defense lawyers to show a video animation to bolster their closing argument, and Pell did not make his plea physically in front of the jury as required.

Pell has maintained his innocence ever since he was charged.

Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Sam Holmes

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