Cardinal George Pell appeal, conviction for child sexual abuse.

Pell was found guilty by a jury last year of abusing two boys inside a Melbourne cathedral in 1996. He was later jailed for six years.

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The ex-Vatican treasurer, 77, is the most senior Catholic figure to be convicted of such crimes.

He maintains his innocence and argues the verdict was unreasonable.

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The hearing, which began on Wednesday, will run over two days in Victoria’s Court of Appeal.

Pell was transported from prison to the court in a van, wearing a black suit and his clerical collar.

The Australian cardinal’s conviction has rocked the Catholic Church, where he had been among Pope Francis’s closest advisers.

What was Pell convicted of?
Last year, the County Court of Victoria heard that Pell had abused two 13-year-old boys following a mass in 1996, when he was archbishop of Melbourne. He abused one of the boys again in 1997, the court was told.

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A jury unanimously convicted him on one charge of sexually penetrating a child under 16, and four counts of committing an indecent act on a child under 16.

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The trial heard testimony from one of the victims. The other died of a drug overdose in 2014.

Pell chose not to give evidence during the trial.

How is he arguing for an appeal?
Pell is contesting the verdict on three grounds. The first asserts that it was “unreasonable” because it relied too heavily on the testimony of the surviving victim.


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