Australia's High Court overturns sexual abuse convictions for George Pell, a former advisor to Pope Francis and Australia's most senior Catholic cleric

Cardinal George Pell in Sydney Australia

  • Australia's High Court has overturned Cardinal George Pell's historic conviction for sexual abuse.
  • The 78-year-old previously served as archbishop of Melbourne and was also one of Pope Francis' closest advisors.
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Australia's High Court has overturned Cardinal George Pell's conviction for sexual abuse, allowing him to walk free in time for Easter.

The court announced the decision on Tuesday morning local time. Advertisement

"The High Court found that the jury, acting rationally on the whole of the evidence, ought to have entertained a doubt as to the applicant's guilt with respect to each of the offences for which he was convicted, and ordered that the convictions be quashed and that verdicts of acquittal be entered in their place."

The 78-year-old previously served as archbishop of Melbourne and was also one of Pope Francis' closest advisors. Last February, he was convicted of allegedly sexually assaulting two 13-year-old choirboys in 1996 and 1997 at Melbourne's St Patrick's Cathedral.
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This is a developing story.

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