A video recording of George Pell’s interview by police has been released by a Melbourne court as the man who was once Australia’s most powerful Catholic spent his first day behind bars.
- The 45-minute video shows Pell being interviewed by police in Rome in 2016
- Pell was charged with child sex offences eight months after the police interview
- The video was played to the court during Pell’s two trials last year but has only been released now
Pell, 77, was transported to the Melbourne Assessment Prison late yesterday after his bail was revoked at the end of his plea hearing in the County Court.
He will be sentenced in a fortnight after being convicted of five child sexual offences including sexual penetration of a child under 16 and four counts of committing an indecent act with a child.
Inside the Pell abuse trial
How one man’s testimony brought down George Pell, a giant in the Catholic Church, and Australia’s most senior cleric.
The court has now released a video recording of Pell’s interview by police at an airport hotel in Rome in October 2016, eight months before he was charged with child sex offences.
The 45-minute video was played to the court during Pell’s two trials last year, as he unsuccessfully fought charges relating to the sexual abuse of two choirboys.
He did not give evidence during the trial and so the police interview was the only time the jurors heard from the accused man himself.
It depicts Pell, flanked by a lawyer, sitting across a table from Victoria Police Detective Sergeant Christopher Reed who put the allegations to the senior Vatican official for the first time.
Pell responded by describing them as “absolute and disgraceful rubbish” and claimed they were the “product of fantasy”… <cont.>