The first of two trials on pedophilia charges of the world’s third most senior Catholic priest, Cardinal George Pell, may not be allowed to be reported until after a second trial concludes.
The publication New Matilda reported on Tuesday (May 15) that the Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions (DRPP) is seeking an injunction to have all mention of both trials quashed until after their completion.
But in a follow-up report today (Wednesday, May 16) New Matilda stated the DRPP has modified this to enable the proceedings of the first trial only to be subject to the injunction, and for it to be lifted once the second trial is complete.
Cardinal Pell is facing two separate trials related to allegations of a number of historical sexual offences.
The intent of the injunction would be to avoid a mistrial in either case as a result of prejudicial reporting.
Media may be able to report some of the second trial as it proceeds, provided the DPP does not seek a fresh suppression order.
The application is to be heard in the Melbourne County Court tomorrow morning before Chief Judge Peter Kidd.
It precludes even mentioning the injunction in the press, so reports such as this would have to be removed.
In other news relating to the Pell trial, a Victorian County Court employee has reportedly been sacked for looking up information relating to Australia’s most senior Catholic, who’s been charged with historical sexual offences.
The staffer had improperly accessed restricted information on Cardinal George Pell through the court’s computer system, the Herald-Sun reported on Wednesday.
‘When improper access to information is found to occur, the court takes decisive action. This is exactly what has occurred in this case,’ it quoted a court spokeswoman as saying.
Cardinal Pell has denied all of the allegations made against him.
His case returns to the court on Wednesday for a further directions hearing.