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George Pell Returns To Australia To Face Historical Sex Abuse Charges

George Pell Returns To Australia To Face Historical Sex Abuse Charges”

A top Vatican official charged in his native Australia with historical sex crimes arrived in Sydney on Monday ahead of his first court appearance later this month.

Cardinal George Pell has returned to Australia this morning under the cover of dawn, less than two weeks since he was charged with historical child sex offences.

Australia's Victoria police have yet to release a list of charges against the 76-year-old cardinal and have not disclosed any information about alleged victims.

The Australian Federal Police, the NSW Police and private security contractors escorted him from Sydney Airport, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. He did not answer any questions.

The commission has previously said that from 1980 to 2015, more than 4,000 Australians made allegations of child sexual abuse involving Catholic institutions, and that 7 percent of Catholic priests were accused of sexually abusing children from 1950 to 2010.

He has been ordered to face a Melbourne court on July 26 for a preliminary hearing on multiple sexual assault charges related to offences allegedly committed decades ago, when he was a senior cleric in Australia.

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In October previous year, Australian police said they interviewed Pell in Rome in relation to allegations of sexual assault.

"They were there when he got off the plane", the passenger, who asked not to be named, said.

Cardinal Pell was travelling in business class and appeared "calm and not stressed" during the seven-hour flight, the passenger said.

Cardinal Pell had been heard three times in this frame and had recognized before the commission of inquiry to have "failed" in its handling of pedophile priests in the State of Victoria in the 1970s.

"Cardinal Pell will return to Australia, as soon as possible, to clear his name following advice and approval by his doctors who will also advise on his travel arrangements".



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