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Pell sex abuse hearing to take place today

The inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse by Sydney Catholic Archbishop George Pell in the early 1960s begins in Melbourne today.

The church has appointed former Victorian Supreme Court judge Alec Southwell to investigate a man's claims that he was sexually abused by Dr Pell during a youth camp 40 years ago.

Dr Pell, who has stood aside from his position while the investigation is carried out, has strenuously denied the allegations.

Lawyers associated with the inquiry into claims that Sydney Archbishop George Pell abused a 12-year-old boy 40 years ago are under strict instructions not to reveal where it will be held. Fearing that the anonymous complainant will be identified, or that supporters from both sides will convene on the site, Church officials have secured a top-secret location for the in-camera hearing.

The inquiry is the first of its kind in Australian history.

Two lawyers will act for Dr Pell, three for the 53-year-old complainant and three have been hired by the Church to conduct affairs.

All three sides will call witnesses, with at least six - probably former altar boys and camp workers - coming and going throughout the three days.

But the lawyers will have no power of
subpoena, they cannot compel witnesses and they have no public accountability. Witnesses cannot be found in contempt of court.

According to the terms of reference, no information can be released by the commissioner without the written consent of both Dr Pell and the alleged victim, or their legal representatives, unless the commissioner is legally compelled to do so.


Day of truth dawns for Pell and accuser (The Age)
Pell knew 'abused' boys (27/9/02)
I knew the altar boys, says Pell (The Age)
Family unaware of Pell abuse claim (24/9/02)
Pell accuser stands by his claim (10/9/02)
Pell defence swaps QCs (The Age)
Legal lifeline for Pell accuser (AAP)
Pell's accuser weighs up his options (9/9/02)
Terms of Reference Releases for Pell Enquiry (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference)
Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney
Terms of Reference - The Pell Enquiry (comment from lawyer Geoff Cahill)
Dr Pell steps aside while allegations are investigated (Catholic Weekly 1/9/02)

30 Sep 2002