Australia Police Mull Abuse Charges Against Pope Aide
Pell, who before his Vatican appointment was Archbishop of Sydney, has rejected any involvement in alleged child abuse in Australia, which local media have reported date from the 1970s to the 1990s.
File Photo of Australian Cardinal George Pell. (Photo Credit: Reuters/ Alessandro Bianchi)
Sydney: Australian police were Wednesday deciding whether to charge Vatican finance chief George Pell over historic sex abuse allegations after receiving final advice from prosecutors.
Cardinal Pell, Australia's most senior Catholic cleric, was interviewed in Rome by Australian detectives last October over the assault claims, which he has strenuously denied.
The police brief of evidence on the matter was handed to the Director of Public Prosecutions earlier this year to assess whether it was sufficient for charges to be laid.
That advice has now been handed back to them.
"Victoria Police can confirm that it has received advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions relating to a current investigation into historical sexual assault allegations," they said in a statement.
"Detectives from Taskforce Sano will now take time to consider that advice. As with any investigation it will be a decision for Victoria Police as to whether charges are laid."
The claims against him came just months after Pell admitted he "mucked up" in dealing with paedophile priests in Victoria state in the 1970s, while giving evidence to an Australian inquiry into institutional responses to child sex abuse.
He has appeared before the long-running royal commission three times, once in person and twice via video-link.
Earlier this week, a new book, Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell, was published with fresh details on allegations against him, and new information claiming a cover-up within the Catholic Church.
"Each and every allegation of abuse and cover up against him is false," said a statement from his Rome office on Monday.
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