CNA Staff, Oct 5, 2020 / 16:45 pm
The accuser of Cardinal George Pell has denied he was bribed into making allegations of abuse against the cardinal, after Italian media have reported the allegation that Cardinal Angelo Becciu might have wired money to Australia as a bribe during Pell's trial.
"My client denies any knowledge or receipt of any payments," attorney Vivian Waller, who represents a man who accused Pell of sexual abuse, said in an Oct. 5 statement. "He won't be commenting further in response to these allegations."
That denial came after speculative reports in Italian newspapers indicated that Becciu had been accused of wiring money from an undisclosed Vatican account to Australia while Pell was facing a 2018 criminal trial, on charges that he sexually abused two boys while he was Archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s.
Pell was convicted of that charge, after a first trial ended in a hung jury, and in 2019 sentenced to prison. He was freed on April 7, 2020, after Australia's High Court concluded the jury in Pell's trial did not act rationally when it found no possibility of doubt in the charges the cardinal faced.