Secret details of the criminal case against Cardinal George Pell have been released to lawyers for the ABC and lawyers for one of the broadcaster’s journalists, The Australian reports.
The ABC and investigative journalist Louise Milligan were subpoenaed by the Cardinal’s legal team, along with Victoria Police and clergy abuse advocate group Broken Rites, but the media organisation and Ms Milligan have yet to hand over the requested material.
The charges against Cardinal Pell which provide details of the alleged offending were given to lawyers for the ABC and Ms Milligan yesterday and they agreed to hand over selected materials to the Cardinal’s lawyers.
Ms Milligan has reported allegations against Cardinal Pell on the ABC’s 7.30 program, and her book Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell was released earlier this year.
Robert Richter QC, for Cardinal Pell, told a brief hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates Court that the Cardinal’s counsel had had “fruitful discussions” with lawyers representing the ABC and Milligan.
“We’ve come to a tentative agreement,” Mr Richter said.
Magistrate Belinda Wallington adjourned the court for two hours to allow further discussions. Following the break Peter Morrissey SC for Milligan said the matter had been resolved.
The matter will return to court for another mention in January, ahead of Cardinal Pell’s committal.
Cardinal Pell was charged in June with historical sexual abuse offences involving multiple complainants. He denies the charges and has stood aside from his role at the Vatican as Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy and returned to Australia to contest them.
The Guardian reports Cardinal Pell's lawyers will return to court on January 10 for a further administrative update.