Police interview Cardinal Pell in Rome


Australian police have travelled to Rome and interviewed Cardinal George Pell about historic allegations of sexual assault.

In a statement, Victoria Police confirmed to the ABC’s 7.30 program that “three members of Victoria Police travelled to Rome last week where Cardinal George Pell voluntarily participated in an interview regarding allegations of sexual assault”.

“As a result of the interview further investigations are continuing. We are not prepared to comment further at this time,” the statement said.

Pell, says he will continue to co-operate with Victorian police as they investigate alleged historical sexual assaults on boys.

On Wednesday Pell confirmed his voluntary interview in a brief statement that also rejects the allegations.

“The Cardinal repeats his previous rejection of all and every allegation of sexual abuse and will continue to co-operate with Victoria Police until the investigation is finalised,” the statement says.

In July the chief commissioner of Victoria police, Graham Ashton, confirmed allegations against Pell had been referred to the office of public prosecutions for a recommendation as to whether police should drop the investigation, investigate further or lay charges.

AT that time Pell previously described them as “nothing more than a scandalous smear campaign”.

He accused police of leaking to the media, and called for a Victorian government inquiry into the alleged leaks.

“If there was any credibility in any of these claims, they would have been pursued by the royal commission by now,” a statement released by Pell’s office in July said.

Asked in July about the allegations and Australian investigation into Pell, Pope Francis told reporters it was important for the process to go forward without him making a “first judgement”.

“We don’t know what the result will be but be attentive to what justice decides. Once justice speaks, I will speak,” he said.

In August, Pope Francis told reporters: “We must avoid a media verdict, a verdict based on gossip.”


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